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Miso Yaki Recipes

One of the most delightful uses of miso paste is to use it as a base ingredient for a rub or marinade for grilled or broiled fish, seafood, meat or vegetables. Miso paste is thinned with a little liquid, usually mirin (sweet cooking wine) or sake, and seasoned with sugar and fresh grated ginger. However, many people also use beer, rice vinegar or citrus juice in place of the mirin. Sometimes I see miso yaki recipes that add soy sauce but I do not recommend adding soy sauce as miso paste, even the light shiro miso, is already very salty!

The type of miso paste will determine the ultimate flavor but here is a good, basic recipe as a starting point for your own creative cooking inspirations. The recipe names will vary depending on the type of meat you use. For example, Niku no Miso Yaki (miso-grilled beef), Sake no Miso Yaki (miso-grilled salmon), Tori no Miso Yaki (miso-grilled chicken) and so on.

Basic Miso Yaki

1 cup shiro miso (or miso paste of your choice)
cup mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
2 scallions, green tops only, sliced

In a small bowl, blend together shiro miso, mirin, white sugar, vegetable oil and green scallions. Rub this mixture over several pieces of desired meat, fish or seafood. Marinate in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least hour hours. Grill food over hot coals or under a broiler flame until cooked. Be careful not to scorch.

If using vegetables, do not marinate but simply brush on thick slices of eggplant or squash before grilling or broiling.

Experiment with different types of miso paste and liquids to achieve new flavors. Many families in Japan have their own favorite recipe. Some prefer it sweeter or less sweet; others use sake or vinegar. Here is one of my personal renditions as I love vegetables and natural ingredients:

Nasu no Miso Yaki (miso-grilled eggplant)

1/2 cup shiro miso paste
1/2 cup honey
juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed
tsp. sesame oil
2 scallions, green tops only, sliced

In a small bowl or cup, blend together all ingredients. Wash Japanese eggplants (they are longer with thinner skins than other eggplant varieties) and slice them lengthwise. Place the eggplant halves with cut sides up on a broiler pan. Brush generous amounts of the miso sauce on the eggplant halves. Broil under a high flame until eggplants are cooked with soft, tender flesh and bubbly tops.

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