a macro shot of two salmon hot dogs nestled in a soft brioche bun topped with a small pile of caramel colored caramelized onions

Caramelized Onions with Miso on Salmon Hot Dogs

Juicy salmon hot dogs nestled in a soft bun, topped with a generous helping of rich, sweet, and savory miso caramelized onions. These caramelized onions can enhance the flavor of many dishes, whether they are used as a topping for sandwiches, pizzas and burgers or as an ingredient in soups, stews and more. Their versatility makes them a go-to ingredient for any cook looking to add depth and sweetness to their dishes. The complex flavors of the caramelized onions perfectly complement the rich taste of Kvarøy Arctic salmon hot dogs making it a meal even kids will love. This meal is super simple for busy weeknights.

Why This Works

As we embark on a new year, I am making a conscious effort to incorporate more sustainable and healthy meals into my diet. One of my new go-to ingredients is Oceans Balance seaweed, a tasty superfood that not only nourishes our bodies but also helps to restore the health of our oceans. I’ve been pairing it with Kvarøy Arctic salmon, which is sustainably raised and can be found at Whole Foods Market. When you choose Kvarøy Arctic salmon products, you are also supporting the Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting healthy eating habits in children.


What are caramelized onions?

Caramelizing onions is a technique that transforms the humble onion into a deliciously sweet and richly flavored ingredient. This process involves cooking the onions over low heat for a prolonged period, usually around 20-30 minutes. As the onions cook, their natural sugars breakdown and become more concentrated, giving them a distinct and complex taste. You can use this as a topping on sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, soups, stews, and other dishes, adding a new depth of flavor to any dish.

What do caramelized onions taste like?

Caramelized onions offer a unique blend of sweet, savory and umami tastes. The process of caramelizing the onions brings out their natural sweetness, creating a tender texture. The Maillard reaction occurs, which gives them a slightly nutty and umami taste that perfectly complements the umami of miso. You can use this to add complexity and a touch of sweetness to your dishes. They are a must-have ingredient for any cook looking to elevate their dishes to the next level.

an overhead shot of an oval white ceramic bowl piled high with a mountain of caramelized onions

How do I prepare onions for caramelized onions?

  1. Peel the onion and cut off the root end, but leave the stem end intact. This will keep the layers of the onion together while you slice.
  2. Slice the onion in half from the stem end to the root end.
  3. Lay one half of the onion flat on the cutting board, with the root end facing you. Make a cut through the root end, but not all the way through the stem end.
  4. Turn the onion 90 degrees and make a series of evenly spaced cuts, again cutting through the root end but not all the way through the stem end.
  5. Hold the onion together by the stem end and make slices from the root end to the stem end. This will create evenly-sized slices that are pole to pole.
  6. Repeat with the other half of the onion.
the ingredients for caramelized onions displayed on a marble table in an overhead shot. From left to right clockwise, three white whole onions, neutral oil, miso paste, brown sugar, mirin, and seasoning.

What is miso?

Miso is an essential condiment in Japanese cuisine that is made by fermenting soybeans, barley, or other grains with salt and a fungus called koji. After a fermentation period of 18 months, these ingredients transform into a paste that has a distinct, savory, nutty, and umami-rich flavor. Miso is considered just as important as soy sauce in Japanese cuisine and used as a seasoning in various dishes.

What are the different types of miso?

Miso comes in a range of flavors that can vary from subtle to strong. The type of miso that you may be most familiar with is red miso, which is often used in miso soup. Red miso has a distinct, strong and bold taste that makes it the richest in flavor among all types of miso. On the other hand, shiro miso, also known as white miso, has a mild and sweet taste and it considered the most subtle type. I personally prefer using shiro for both sweet and savory dishes due to its versatility.

How do I cook with miso?

Miso should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator to preserve its color and flavor. Lighter colored and flavored varieties should be handled with extra care and always stored in the refrigerator. When using miso, you should add it at the final step of cooking to avoid damage to its delicate aromatics. To make it easier to dissolve in butter, try mixing it with a small amount of mirin or sake before adding it to soups, broths, or sauces. Make sure to strain the mixture before adding it to hot butter.

What is mirin?

Mirin (sweet sake) is a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine known for its unique sweet and savory flavor profile. It’s created by fermenting rice, and then adding a syrup made from rice to sweeten it and distilled to create an alcohol content of around 14%. It is clear with a golden color, a slightly syrupy texture, and a sweet taste. It is used in a variety of dishes to add a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor. Mirin also serves as a glaze for fish and meat, and is used to add a bit of sweetness to sushi rice. 

Mirin and sake, a Japanese rice wine, can be used interchangeably in recipes, where one is called for, the other may be used as a substitute. Sake is drier.

  • Mirin is added early in the cooking process to give the dish a chance to marinate in the flavors. For example, if you’re making a marinade for grilled meats, you might add mirin at the beginning so that the meat can soak up the flavors before cooking.
  • In other cases, mirin is added later in the cooking process, such as in a stir-fry. Mirin can help deglaze the pan, adding a burst of flavor to the dish.
a macro shot of two salmon hot dogs nestled in a soft brioche bun topped with a small pile of caramel colored caramelized onions

Caramelized Onions with Miso on Hot Dogs

Juicy salmon hot dogs nestled in a soft bun, topped with rich and mellow miso caramelized onions.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian, Japanese
Servings 4 Hot Dogs


Miso Caramelized Onions (2 cups)

  • 3 large white onions trimmed, peeled
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil or clarified butter
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Ocean’s Balance Seaweed Seasoning for Seafood optional

Salmon Hot Dogs

  • 1 4 pack Kvarøy Arctic Salmon Hot Dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns


  • Prep | Trim the ends off the onion, peel, and halve from pole to pole. Using a sharp knife, julienne the onions from pole to pole. Repeat with the other half followed by the remaining onions.
  • Cook Onions | Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and stir. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5.
    After 25 minutes, stir the miso paste and mirin together into a small bowl. Strain out any clumps of miso paste.
    With 5 minutes left, reduce the heat to a simmer. Remove any strands of burnt onions to prevent bitterness.
    Add in the miso mirin mixture, sugar, and seasoning. Stir until combined and remove from heat.
  • Hot Dogs | Cook the hot dogs according to package instructions. Toast the buns.
  • Assemble | Place a cooked hot dog in each bun and top with miso caramelized onions. Serve hot.
    If you've tried this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments below! Your feedback is greatly appreciated and it helps me improve my recipes for future cooking adventures. And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to give it a thumbs up or share it with your friends! You can help my channel by tagging @vocabularyoffood in your cooks. <3
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a macro side angle shot of three salmon hot dogs nestled in a soft brioche bun topped with a small pile of caramel colored caramelized onions

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