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Miso love-Japanese steak with mushrooms

My dirty little secret is that I’m addicted to miso. I slather it on just about anything with 100% success. I wish my other obsessive habits (clothes and Sauvignon Blanc) were as healthy but never mind. Made from fermented soybeans aged from 6 months to 3 years, this fudge-like Japanese ingredient adds a distinctive salty/sweet bean-y taste. There are different varieties ranging from pale sweet yellow (most commonly found) to red or dark brown. The darker ones tend to include barley in the fermentation process and are much more intense.

Its health benefits are hugely impressive; high protein, full of vitamin E, lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure, and (pay attention here) it supposedly helps your liver cope with alcohol. Health perks aside, it makes food taste amazing. Mix some into stock for instant soup or use the same marinade in my recipe below to smear on salmon, roasted aubergines, tofu, chicken, yakitori, or whisk it into a salad dressing. A little goes a long way so be judicious.

The best quality and selection of miso will be in a Japanese supermarkets. If you don’t live near one there are numerous on-line options like the Japan Centre link below. Some grocery stores like Waitrose or Whole Foods stock it but failing that try a health food store. Clearspring, a quality Japanese brand, is stocked in most of them. Remember to refrigerate it and it will keep for over one year.

Miso Steak with shitake mushrooms
10 minutes prep, 5 minutes cooking

2 beef fillets, 125g-150g
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
8 shitake mushrooms trimmed
1 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic chopped

Preheat oven to 200c/400c. In a small bowl, mix together the miso, mirin, and honey. Rub the beef with a tiny amount of oil and season. Heat a frying pan until hot and sear on both sides. Remove and rub with half the miso mixture on all sides. Place in a baking dish. Toss the mushrooms with the soy and garlic and a small bit of vegetable oil. Arrange over the beef, add fresh cracked pepper and the sesame seeds and roast both for 5 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes. (this is for medium rare) Serve with spicy baby leaf salad and the leftover miso sauce.

photo Maja Smend food styling Jennifer Joyce


  1. Kasey says:

    I’ve never cooked with miso, but I love its flavor. This looks easy and elegant. Bookmarking!

  2. mealsinheels says:

    Once you’ve cooked with it you will be hooked forever. Its a no-brainer for quick dinners and very healthy as well.

  3. Yue Edwards says:

    looks so yummy! and beautiful too!

  4. Karen Zachary says:

    Wait, is it 200 degrees celcius or 400 degrees celsius?


  5. Karen Zachary says:

    Oh, i think i’ve got it: 200f is about 400c.

    Seems low, but I’ll give it a go!

  6. mealsinheels says:

    Hi Karen, its 200c and 400f. Sorry about that.

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