Miso Marinated Steak


Miso-Marinated Beef Steak (with fried rice and sauce)
Gyuniku no Misozuke

from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 460
serves 3 to 4


page 460

  • 1 pound top loin steak Trim and reserve the larger chunks of fat to make the rice.
  • 4 Tablespoons akamiso (brown miso) (I used a blend of shiro miso and hatcho miso)
  • ¼ cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • ¼ cup sake

Combine the miso, mirin, and sake.
Spread about 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of a glass pan big enough to hold the meat in one layer. Cover that with a dampened fukin (tightly woven cotton cloth). Place the steaks on the cloth and cover with another cloth. Spread the remaining marinade over the second cloth. I tucked the edges cloth over the top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Marinate the steaks for 5 hours to overnight. Ms. Shimbo says that if you leave the meat in the marinade too long it will get dry and tough, but you can remove the steak from the marinade, wrap, and it will keep for up to 3 days.

When you are ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and if there is miso on the meat, wipe it away with a paper towel. Do not rinse!


Miso burns very easily. Note: I make this recipe often and this picture is from a meal I prepared shortly after moving into this house with its super-fast very hot stove…

Mikey is sporting his very cool lion cut…

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Heat a large skillet and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the steaks. Brown on one side, turn and finish cooking on the other side. I’m not sure how long I cooked them, but keep your eye on it: they seemed to cook faster than un-marinated steaks. Remove meat to a warm plate.

  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 TBS reserved miso marinade

Deglaze the pan with water and miso. Then add the miso marinade. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Ms. Shimbo’s recipe calls for the cook to ignite some brandy in the skillet, strain the sauce into a saucepan and then cook until it thickens. I omitted this last touch.

Slice the steaks and serve with stir-fried rice and the sauce drizzled over.

Chekhov's gun

“If in the first act you have hung a pistol cantaloupe on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired eaten.”

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16 thoughts on “Miso Marinated Steak

  1. What an interesting way to marinade the meat, Tess – I love miso, so I absolutely MUST try this recipe.

    cool post, as usual… loved it!

  2. Pingback: Herb Fried Rice « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

  3. There’s always miso marinade left and rather then throwing it out I use it again: It’s good on lamb chops, pork, or salmon.

  4. Pingback: Miso Marinated Salmon « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

  5. Love Mikey’s haircut. He is a velvet lion.
    Love your Chekhov quote. I have been going back to Chekhov lately.
    Miso improves almost everything…maybe not chocolate.
    Have you tried vegemite?
    Non sequitor city here tonight. Sorry.
    Bed. Now.

    • Poor Mikey has such long soft thin fur, with a deep short undercoat, that he gets horrible felted mats which can’t be very comfortable for him. I use a de-shedding comb (we call it the cat shredder), but he doesn’t like grooming except on the back and sides of his neck and shoulders. Usually the vet has to put him under an anesthetic so they can shave him, which makes me worry because doing that to cats can be tricky and dangerous. This year they did the cut without the drugs, but as I was picking him up, the vet tech said that in future they probably would not try that again. (glad I wasn’t there to hear the screaming…)

      He does look handsome: muscular and svelte. But I can see he is getting old, not as powerful as he looked the last time he got the cut. He’s old enough to drive: 16! I’ll keep the garage door locked and keys out of sight.

      Was it you who recommended vegemite to me some while ago? When I saw how expensive it was, and me not being sure if we’d like it, I put that experiment on hold. But if you bring it up in the same comment as miso, I wonder if there are umami-like similarities?

      While we were up north this summer (see my Tess Expressed blog) I was reading Flannery O’Connor’s The Complete Stories, a trade paperback I bought in the ’70’s for $5.95 when that was a lot of money for me. Being in a cottage with my siblings (for a rare occasion) it made my family seem much less distorted. But from the first I’ve loved her.

      Since then, I’ve stuck to very light reading. Frances Fyfield, Donna Leon…

      Yesterday, I started listening to a BBC radio production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b014fb7x/Drama_on_3_A_Midsummer_Nights_Dream/
      I’m not sure how long that will be available online BBC Radio 3. A dark comedy. “Oh Titania” (sorry)

      Hope you are anticipating spring…

      • Vegemite umami….hmmmmm maybe to an Australian. It’s hard to say when a food has been so part of one’s cultural palette. Would it appeal to someone else without that same food imprinting – I don’t know. As to whether vegemite resembles miso – well it does a little but it does not have the same sweet complexity of flavour – it’s a single note rather than a harmony. That said, I wouldn’t be without it in my pantry. It’s good on toasted rye or a good grainy thick cut slice. Seems funny that it is so expensive in the US. The family knows I’ve blown the budget on books or other frippery if they get vegemite sandwiches for lunch more than one day in a row.

        • I suppose it’s expensive because it’s imported. Do you ever cook with it? Say put it on meat for a marinade, or use it to flavor baked goods? I guess if we didn’t like it, I could still use it. You know I’m curious and will have to give it a try…

          • Small jar is winging its way to you. Wouldn’t cook with it though….be keen to hear what you think!

            • Oh my friend! I was not hinting for you to send me some.! I actually went to the store today where they had it in the summer/spring. But the shelf-space was empty. So, many thanks: I love to experiment with new foods.

  6. hey thats the same brand of miso paste I buy. :) I used to try cooking with it as if it were meat stock, but learned quickly how salty the stuff was. Now I only ever use recipees. This recipee looks delicious and flavorful. Perfect for a chilly autumn night.

    • Sara, there are various kinds of miso, some more salty, some more sweet, but by itself miso is not a stock. You start with maybe chicken stock (not Japanese but could be good), dashi (fish based), or kombu stock, or mushroom-kombu stock, and then add a little miso for flavor: it’s more like a seasoning which you add towards the end of making your stock.
      Are you a vegetarian?
      Try the plain kombu recipe or the one with dried shiitake added to the kombu stock recipe for your stock:
      https://1tess.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/dashi-and-vegetarian-variations/
      I know you could use this marinade on eggplant, and probably on firm tofu, instead of meat or seafood…

      • He looks good! All the lady cats better watch out. Now his, poofy lion tail? Some naughty kitties might think its a cat toy perfect for pouncing on. :) I just love that smooth feel of freshly shaved fur.

        Cool Dashi links. Im not vegitarian. Though I respect the choice. Tried to give my cats the strained bonito flakes after dashi was done, but nobody had interest. Now I use it like you do, saving for other recipees.

        • Yes, I wish I could keep Mikey groomed that way all the time. He thinks he’s a chick magnet. LOL He’s been fixed so maybe that does not occur to him: only that he thinks he is a tough guy. The other kits do not think the poodle puff tail is a toy. I should see if my vet’s tech people could sort of keep up with the shaving without the anesthetic…

          My kitties don’t like the used katsobushi, but fresh: yes. And the dried sardines:
          https://1tess.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/niboshi-dashi-dried-sardine-broth/

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