How To Make Miso Marinade

Different types of miso paste
Getty Images/Annabelle Breakey/Photolibrary
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings

White miso soybean paste, light brown sugar, and two Japanese rice wines are known as sake and mirin are blended together to make a flavorful miso marinade for broiled or baked fish or poultry.

Miso, or fermented soybean paste, is a Japanese condiment that comes in many varieties depending on the region they are from. They can be dark or light and taste sweet or salty. The most common kinds of miso are shiro (white) miso and aka (red) miso. Miso is not meant to be eaten out of a container as you might do with dip. The most common uses are for miso soup, sauces, marinades like this one, tofu and vegetable dishes.

Sake is a Japanese wine made from fermented rice. While sake can be quite potent, mirin is a low-alcohol sweet rice wine that some say helps mask the smell of fish and seafood.


  • 2 cups miso (white type, fermented soybean paste available in Asian markets)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (light-brown)
  • 1/2 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In the top of a double boiler set over low heat, whisk together 2 cups white miso, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup sake, and 1/2 cup mirin and cook for about 20 minutes until sugar crystals dissolve and mixture has reduced by almost half. Stir often.

  3. Remove from heat, remove ​the top of double boiler to a trivet, and let cool to room temperature.

  4. Marinate fish or poultry in the mixture in a sealed heavy-duty zip-top bag (squeeze out all the air) at least 2 hours.

  5. Remove fish or poultry from the marinade and bake or broil to desired doneness.