+ Buddha’Licious Restaurant in Corolla, North Carolina
~ This Red-Miso Glazed Salmon is truly a stand-out – a restaurant-quality meal that’s ready in about 30 minutes (with make-ahead steps, too)! Inspired by one of our favorite OBX restaurants, it’s bursting with bright and savory Asian flavors. Satisfying and vibrantly delicious, it’s the perfect way to elevate heart-healthy salmon to superstar status! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Includes Make-Ahead Steps •
As summer draws to a close and my kiddos are back in school, I’m in that happy-sad mommy space of reflecting on our summer together. Jam-crammed to overflowing, it was all about big-kid, high school activities. An exchange trip to Costa Rica, learning to drive (oh my!), and a seemingly constant rotation of cross-country, soccer and drumline practices. It was fabulous, and exactly what it needed to be this year … but … something was missing.
Well, ok. Two somethings:
1) Sleep. It was scarce, to say the least. We were in constant motion, sometimes nearly around the clock.
2) The Outer Banks. We almost always find a week to get away, but this summer there wasn’t a week to be found anywhere. *SIGH*
Our Outer Banks
I’ve mentioned that we often vacation in Emerald Isle, NC with Scott’s ginormous, sprawling, 50-some person family. (Remember the Pasta with Peas and Bacon that was born out of those rollicking week-long laugh fests?)
Well, in alternate years, we typically head down to Corolla or Duck, in North Carolina’s northernmost Outer Banks, with my side of the family, for what we’ve dubbed “BeaChappeLooza” (because all our family events have ridiculous names).
At just 20-25 people, my side of the family needs only one beach house instead of four or five, but even with half the manpower, we still manage to have every bit as much fun as Scott’s craaaaaaa-zy 50+ clan. Sure, having that much fun is hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it!
We hit all the obvious highlights.
Catching ghost crabs, boogie boarding, and flying kites on the beach. Surf fishing and sea kayaking.
Swimming and laughing, forging bonds of friendship that go beyond the simple fact that we’re all family.
And of course, watching the sun rise … and set. Just reeeeelaxing.
Plus, there’s the eagerly anticipated “Olympics” with ever-changing events that send us scuttling from pool to beach and back again in fierce competition, armed with water balloons, whiffle balls, buckets … whatever hair-brained things our Olympic Commissioner can dream up!
We usually celebrate several birthdays in just that one week together, plus a couple anniversaries. We’ve often got a new baby to cuddle. And last year, we even had an ocean-side engagement! (Yes! He finally, finally popped the question … and now my cousin Susie, the amazing wedding photographer, is planning a wedding of her own!)
And (this won’t surprise you), we eat wonderful meals. Some that we cook up together, and usually one or two at local restaurants.
Guys, it’s so fun. Soul-rejuvenating, happy-heart … fun.
But this summer there was just no time.
So I’m rewinding to last year … to cheer myself up, and also because this Red-Miso Salmon recipe is way too good not to share with you!
Yep! Today we’re living it up a little on memory lane, with the big BeaChappeLooza bash of 2016 … and our discovery of Corolla’s Buddha’Licious restaurant and its you-have-GOT-to-try this Red-Miso Salmon.
Buddha’Licious … Our New Absolute Must
Update 2021: Sadly, Buddha’Licious has since closed its doors. We will miss it!
Tucked inconspicuously along one side of Corolla’s Monteray Plaza, Buddha’Licious was an inspired take on oceanside fare.
Oh sure … you could find your perfectly fresh fish, your local ingredients. But we’re not talking fish fry and hush puppies here.
This was a knock-your-socks-off culinary adventure through the flavors and techniques of Southeast Asia, which NC-native Chef Todd Bryant seamlessy integrated with a little Southern U.S. twist.
Korean short ribs are reinvented as tacos.
Cambodian Crispy Broccoli is topped with a Mississippi “Come Back Sauce.”
Buddha Street Noodles feature Asian tofu, nestled right alongside country ham.
Kimchi mingles with queso fresco.
It was surprising, and yet perfectly harmonious.
It was also fun (a firm BeaChappeLooza requirement), and crazy-delicious.
Casual enough to feel like the OBX, yet exotic enough to feel like a refreshing alternative to fried fish and chips.
It immediately became our new OBX must-do.
I was so sad to learn that Chef Todd had later shuttered this wonderful restaurant and moved on to other projects. But I feel especially lucky that I have his amazing salmon recipe as a memento.
Perfectly Delicious, Perfectly Simple Miso Salmon
Now to be clear, this version of the Red-Miso Salmon recipe isn’t exactly his … at least, it’s not the full experience you would have gotten at Buddha’Licious. The full recipe he shared with me includes six sub-recipes (six!) that use the stove, the oven, and even the grill.
It’s a masterpiece, to be sure.
But, my super-fast version is still startlingly delicious, and easy enough for a busy weeknight … or for when you want to relax and think stress-free, beachy thoughts in the North Carolina sunshine.
It doesn’t taste like a shortcut, but it’s on the table in 30, and can even be mostly made ahead.
Wait … did you hear that right? Yes. Yes, you did! Mostly made ahead!
Gotta Love Easy Make-Ahead Steps!
The Red-Miso Glaze is a gorgeously rich combination of umami and sweet Asian flavors. Our recipe makes enough glaze to drizzle extra on top of the finished salmon, or over whatever rice, noodles, and veggies you serve alongside (we love serving this with Blistered Green Beans).
The Ginger-Scallion Sauce (which is really more of a relish than a sauce … but who’s gonna worry about that?!?), is exactly the right hit of crunchy-tangy freshness to brighten the entire dish.
Bonus for busy people back in the real world, who aren’t relaxing all day on the beach … both the glaze and the sauce can be made ahead. Boom! All you have to do is cook the salmon, and dinner is done in a twinkling!
Perfectly Seared Salmon
The salmon itself is simply seasoned with just a sprinkling of salt and pepper. A quick sear on the stovetop over high heat yields a beautiful, crunchy exterior (just like with our beloved Pan Seared Salmon with Basil Tzatziki).
Then, after slathering it with that yummy glaze …
… it’s finished in the oven so that the interior is sumptuously moist and tender.
This sear-then-bake strategy is such a quick and simple technique, with excellent results every time I make this salmon!
You know we love salmon. I mean – sure, it’s a lot of healthy bang for your buck. And there are so, so many scrumptious ways to prepare it (hey, hey there Easy Honey-Glazed Salmon, Asian Salmon Burgers, Super-Fast Salmon Pasta …), but Chef Todd’s recipe still really kinda blew us away. As my husband and I wistfully googled beach houses and maybe sipped a little of the leftover sake, this dish came together quickly and easily, and we all sat down to a meal that instantly became a favorite.
We’ve served it over rice, or with a side of roasted redskin potatoes … delicious, either way! I also highly recommend nestling it alongside asparagus, snow peas, or – our absolute favorite – simply prepared Blistered Green Beans. At Buddha’Licious, Chef Todd served his stunning creation with English cucumber, crispy sweet potatoes and apple butter.
You pretty much can’t go wrong!
And now, this Red-Miso Salmon is one more thing on the loooooooong list of things I love about the OBX, and Buddha’Licious Salmon is one more reason that I cherish the memories of our summer days there!
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup sake
- 3 tablespoons red miso paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 2 tablespoons peeled, minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon tamari (or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or Chinese black vinegar)
- 1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/32 teaspoon (1 smidgen) black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skin-on salmon filets
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Combine mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, allowing alcohol to burn off. (Always be careful when cooking with alcohol, as it can cause a small flame.)
- Turn the heat to low and add red miso paste and sugar, whisking to combine. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes (at just a very slight simmer with only occasional bubbles) to allow the glaze to thicken and reduce.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine green onions, ginger, oil, tamari, vinegar, 1/16 teaspoon salt and 1/32 teaspoon pepper. Set aside (or place in the refrigerator until serving).
- Meanwhile, season the flesh side of the salmon evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon pepper.
- Preheat an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Once your skillet is pre-heated, add 1 teaspoon oil, quickly swirling to coat, and then immediately add the salmon, flesh side down. Sear the salmon for 1 minute on high heat, and then turn the heat down to low and continue cooking for 3 minutes more. (The salmon should develop a lovely golden-brown crust and release easily from the pan when you try to flip it.)
- Remove the salmon from the heat. Carefully turn the salmon over with a large spatula, so the seared, flesh side is up. Using a spoon or pastry brush, spread 2 tablespoons of Red-Miso Glaze over top of the salmon.
- Place the skillet of glazed salmon into the preheated oven for about 5 minutes for medium-rare. Serve immediately.
- Serve salmon drizzled with additional Red-Miso Glaze and topped with Ginger-Scallion Sauce. We also like to drizzle a little additional glaze over the rice or veggies we serve alongside.
Make ahead steps: Both the Red-Miso Glaze and the Ginger-Scallion Sauce can be made up to a day ahead, and stored separately, covered, in the refrigerator. If you'd like to thin the Red-Miso Glaze slightly prior to using, you can microwave it gently for 10-20 seconds to take the chill off and make it slightly less thick.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 4 ounces salmon, plus glaze and sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 504mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 18g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.