Japanese Miso Marinade (Miso-Yaki)

This is a modernized version of a traditional Japanese marinade that has become popular recently. Traditionally this is used on black cod, also known as sablefish, which is broiled or grilled. Try it on salmon, mackerel, albacore, ono, or opah. Also good on pork tenderloin, rib eye, or tofu slabs.


2 cups light miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sake
3/4 inch long piece of ginger, finely grated
Juice of half an orange
Agave syrup or sugar as needed


Put the miso into a non-reactive bowl. Whisk in the mirin and sake.

Squeeze the grated ginger over the miso to release the ginger juice. Whisk in thoroughly.

Add half the orange juice and whisk in. Taste. The orange should not overpower the rest of the ingredients. As more orange juice, continuing to taste until a balance is reached.

Taste for sweetness. The marinade should be a little sweet, not at all bitter. Add sugar or agave as needed. (The agave syrup is good because it is liquid and will mix easily without giving a distinct flavor as honey does. The sugar will need to be whisked a long time to incorporate.)

Taste again for balance, and adjust as needed. This marinade is best if allowed to work for at least 6 hours, but is best if left overnight to marinate. Wipe off excess to avoid burning before grilling.

I sometimes will add 2-3 drops of toasted black sesame seed oil and a couple drops of soy sauce to add a smokey note. Go very light with the oil, as it should be just a hint.

SOURCE: Chef Andrew Cohen

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