Slow Roast Salmon with Citrus, Soy Butter and Basil


Though technically this falls under the category of slow roasts, it’s really only slow in contrast to how you might otherwise cook salmon (stovetop, over high heat.) This fish will spend only about 30 minutes in the oven, but the benefit of cooking it at low heat for an extended period of time is that you can’t really mess it up. Whereas skillet roasted fish goes from raw to overcooked in just minutes, a slow roast in the oven provides the luxury of time to test for doneness.

Active Time: 25 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins



  • 2 large shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 meyer lemon (or regular lemon)
  • 1 large bunch basil


  • kosher salt
  • ½ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • Big pinch of chili flakes


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 1 ½ lb piece salmon

1. Prep the veg:

  • Preheat the oven to 300.
  • Peel and thinly slice 2 large shallots and 4 garlic cloves.
  • Thinly slice 1 meyer lemon into rounds, discarding the nubby end pieces. Scrape away any seeds, and cut the lemon rounds in half creating half moons.
  • In a baking dish that’s big enough to hold your piece of salmon, scatter half the shallots, garlic and lemon slices.

2. Add the salmon:

  • Season a 1 ½ lb piece of salmon all over with salt. Arrange the salmon, skin side down, on top of the sliced aromatics.
  • Scatter the remaining shallots, garlic and lemon slices over the salmon.
  • Cut 5 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and dot the salmon and the aromatics around it with the butter.
  • Pour ½ cup mirin and ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce over the entire baking dish.
  • Season the whole dish with a pinch of chili flakes.

3. Roast:

  • Transfer to the oven and roast until the flesh of the salmon reaches your desired doneness–I like mine opaque and light pink-colored on the outside and slightly translucent, and orange-y in the thickest parts of the filet, but everyone’s tolerance for salmon doneness is diff. This will take anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending how you like it. To determine doneness, take a spoon to the thickest part of the flesh and gently pull to flake it away. If it flakes off very easily and looks properly cooked you are good. If it doesn’t flake easily and resists the spoon, it is likely still raw in the center.
  • Remove from the oven. Pick the leaves of one large bunch of basil and add them to the baking dish, stirring them into the sauce that has accumulated around the salmon, and allowing some to sit right on top of the salmon itself. Return to the oven just long enough to slightly wilt the basil and allow it to perfume the sauce, 2-3 minutes.

4. Serve:

  • Serve with a big spoon, breaking the salmon into large pieces, and making sure to serve some of the juices, basil and aromatic with every serving.
  • Sprinkle with another pinch of red pepper flakes, and season with flaky salt.

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