I’ve never used miso as a marinade ingredient before, but the idea has always seemed promising. As things turned out it was an excellent idea.
I used skinned and boned chicken thighs because they tend to have more flavour and the marinade was made with the lighter style of miso, which is a kind of fudge colour. I served the chicken with some buckwheat (soba) noodles, dressed with sesame oil and Korean chilli paste, kimchi and some Japanese-influenced salads.
4 skinned and boned chicken thighs, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons of light miso paste
1 tablespoon of mirin
1 tablespoon of Japanese soy sauce
2 teaspoons of Korean chilli paste
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
a 4 inch long piece of daikon radish, peeled and grated
1/4 cucumber, peeled and thinly-sliced
Japanese rice vinegar
black and white sesame seeds
Japanese chilli pepper
some kimchi to serve as a garnish
First I prepared the chicken and left it in the marinade for 4 hours. Then I threaded the chicken onto skewers, ready for grilling.
I dressed the carrot with mirin and black and white sesame seeds, the daikon radisn with rice vinegar and black sesame seeds and the cucumber with rice vinegar and a dusting of Japanese chilli pepper, which is a powdered mixture of chilli pepper, orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. It is spicy but mild. It is known as “assorted chilli pepper”, nana-iro tōgarashi or shichi-mi tōgarashi.
While the chicken was grilling, I cooked the noodles, drained them and dressed them with the sesame oil and chilli paste.
When I plated up, I garnished the food with a tablespoonful of kimchi but served the salads separately.
Miso makes a lovely marinade ingredient. It has a sweetness but also that lovely umami savoury quality that makes food so appealing. The crisp fresh salads balanced the richness of the chicken and the chilli paste gave the noodles a nice background warmth. The kimchi gave everything a lovely garlicky, sour chilli kick.
Definitely a successful dish and one that I shall be adding to my repertoire.