The dressing in this recipe may get second billing in the title, but as far as I am concerned, it is the real star here. Made simply by whirring orange and lime juices, scallion, miso paste, salt, pepper and a little honey in a blender, then whisking in a little mayo, it is so alluringly good – citrusy and gently sweet, creamy and savory – that it lights up just about anything you drizzle it on.

Here it is tossed with shredded napa cabbage, carrot and red onion to make a mouthwatering slaw, which is served topped with a buttery fillet of chilled poached salmon, and then you drizzle more of the magical dressing on top.

It’s an elegant dish that holds up well in the refrigerator for a make-ahead dinner, or in a cooler to, say, bring to work for lunch, or to a weekend picnic.

You might want to make a double, or even triple, batch of the dressing, because once you try it, you’re going to want more and it keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

The dressing is truly a game changer drizzled on just about any type of seafood, grilled chicken, grilled or steamed vegetables, or tossed with whatever salad greens look best at the market – a star player that adds luster to everything it touches.

Some of the components for Poached Salmon and Napa Slaw with Citrus-Miso Dressing. Washington Post photo by Tom McCorkle

Poached Salmon and Napa Slaw With Citrus-Miso Dressing


The star of this dish is the alluringly delicious dressing that’s simple to make but lights up anything you drizzle it on. Here, the dressing is used in two ways. First, it’s tossed with shredded napa cabbage, carrot and red onion to make a mouthwatering slaw, which is served topped with a buttery fillet of chilled poached salmon and drizzled with more of the magical dressing. It’s an elegant dish which holds up well in the refrigerator for a make-ahead dinner, or in a cooler to bring to work for lunch or to a weekend picnic.

4 servings

Active time: 50 mins; Total time: 50 mins, plus at least 4 hours for chilling salmon

Make Ahead: The poached salmon needs to be made and chilled at least 4 hours in advance. The slaw can be dressed and refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.

Storage Notes: The poached salmon can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.




1 lemon, halved

Four (6-ounce) center-cut salmon filets


3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice


2 tablespoons white miso

2 large scallions, white and light green parts coarsely chopped, and dark green parts thinly sliced and reserved for garnish

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Pinch ground white pepper

1/4 cup mayonnaise



4 cups lightly packed thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1/2 small head)

1 medium carrot, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 2/3 cup)

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (half-moons)


Make the salmon: In a deep skillet with a lid, add enough water to fill about three-quarters of the way and bring it to a low boil over medium-high heat, adjusting the heat as necessary. Fill a kettle with a couple of cups of water and bring to a boil to add later, if needed. Squeeze the lemon into the water in the skillet, then place the fish skin-side down in the pan. Add more boiling water from the kettle, if needed, to submerge the fish. Return to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, adjusting the heat to maintain a low simmer until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of fillets. Transfer the salmon to a large plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Before serving, flip the fish over and remove the skin and any brown flesh underneath it.


Make the dressing: In a blender, combine the lime juice, orange juice, miso, the white and light green parts of the scallions, the honey, salt and pepper into a blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula as needed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise until combined. You should get about 1/2 cup. (If you have a large blender that requires more volume to work properly, double the dressing recipe.)

Make the slaw: In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot, red onion and about half of the citrus miso dressing until combined.

To serve, divide the slaw among four serving plates, top each with a piece of salmon, drizzle the fish with the remaining dressing and garnish with the reserved scallion greens. Serve with a wedge or two of lime.

Nutrition: Per serving (about 3/4 cup slaw, 1 piece salmon and 1 tablespoon dressing on top)

Calories: 416; Total Fat: 21 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 109 mg; Sodium: 581 mg; Carbohydrates: 17 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 11 g; Protein: 36 g

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