Miso-sake marinade

Time 5 minutes
Yields Makes 2 cups marinade
Miso-sake marinade

In a nonreactive container, mix miso, sake, mirin and sugar. The marinade should be smooth enough to spread easily. The basic ration to keep in mind is 10 parts miso to 1 part sake to 1 part mirin. The consistency is softer than peanut butter. If you need to make it softer, add more mirin or sake. Adding mirin will make the marinade sweeter. If you like it firmer and longer-lasting, add less sake and mirin.


You can reuse the miso marinade if you wrap the meat or vegetables in cheesecloth before marinating: Double-line a sealable container with the cheesecloth, add the food and wrap the cheesecloth completely around it. Pour the marinade over the top. When you’re ready to cook, open the folds of the cheesecloth and take out the food. If some marinade sticks to the food, you can rinse it off lightly and pat dry with a paper towel.

This savory miso marinade works for most meats, such as boneless pork chops, beef and chicken, as well as fish fillets such as cod and a variety of raw vegetables. For meat and seafood, try a mild and sweet white miso, such as saikyo. For vegetables, look for red or white miso that contains whole grains, such as moromi, koji or tsubu. The grains give the vegetables another layer of texture and flavor. Mirin and sake are added to the marinade to soften the salinity of the miso. The darker miso tends to be saltier. Let the food marinate for 1 to 3 days. Any longer can make the food too salty, so be careful not to overmarinate. Miso varieties are available at Japanese and general Asian markets. Don’t marinate meat and vegetables in the same marinade.

Get our new Cooking newsletter, coming soon.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.