Tender and flavoursome Miso Marinated Pork takes no time to make. Allow anywhere between 3-48 hours to marinate, then simply BBQ or grill the meat. The miso flavour is intense and a perfect meal with rice.
Today’s dish is made in a similar way to the Pork Marinated in Sake Lees (Pork Kasuzuke) that I posted about a year ago. But unlike kasuzuke, which uses sake lees, miso marinade is easier to make, with ingredients you can easily buy at a supermarket.
About Misozuke (味噌漬け)
Japanese home cooking uses many different kinds of pickling and marinating. In Japanese terminology, both pickling and marinating are translated as ‘tsukeru’ (漬ける).
When pickled in miso-based marinade as in today’s recipe, it becomes ‘misozuke’ (味噌漬け) – ‘miso’ + the noun form of the word ‘tsukeru’. If pickled in salt, which is ‘shio’ (塩) in Japanese, it becomes ‘shiozuke’ (塩漬け). You can see the list of typical pickling/marinade bases in my post, Simple Pickled Celery.
As long as the marinade is miso-based, it is called ‘misozuke’. Depending on the type of miso used, the flavour varies greatly. My Saikyo Yaki Fish (Saikyo Miso Marinated Grilled Fish) is also a misozuke but it is much sweeter than today’s misozuke.
Miso containsenzymes that breaks down protein. This is the reason why the pork marinated in miso becomes so tender. It is the same as using yoghurt in Tandoori chicken to make the meat tender.
My Miso Marinade
There are many variations of miso marinade. Some recipes marinate meat or vegetables in nothing but miso. But usually any combination of sake, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar is mixed with miso.
My Miso Marinade is a mixture of miso, honey, mirin and soy sauce. I used honey instead of sugar today so that it can mix easily with other ingredients. It also makes the marinade more spreadable.
Which Meat Is Best for Miso Marinated Pork?
The most commonly used cut is either pork belly (first 3 photos above) or pork loin (bottom right photo above). They are thinly sliced to about 5-7mm / 3/16-¼” thick.
In the case of belly meat, I went to a Korean butcher and bought sliced pork belly that is sold for Korean BBQs. My pork belly slices were quite long so I cut them in half.
For the loin, I bought a couple of pork loin chops from a supermarket that were about 1.5cm/⅝” thick. After removing the bones, I butterflied the chop to make two thin pork loins.
If you are making Pork Misozuke with pork loin, I’d suggest that you cut each slice into 2cm/¾” wide strips.
Marinating and Cooking is Easy
I use a zip lock bag to marinate pork slices. Simply add the pork and the miso marinade to a bag, massage the bag so that both sides of every piece of pork are coated with the marinade.
Leave the bag in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 48 hours.
The quantity of miso marinade in the recipe is just right for the amount of pork and you needn’t scrape the miso off the meat before cooking.
I used my BBQ to cook the pork slices. Alternatively, you can use a griddle on the cook top if you have one. I think that the burnt lines on the pork look appetising. But, you can of course cook them in a frying pan.
You only need to cook the marinated pork slices a minute or two each side because the slices are quite thin. Serve them with fresh salad leaves as the marinated pork has an intense miso flavour.
PS: I added a new section ‘MEAL IDEAS’ below the recipe card. It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and the new recipe in this post that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you!
Tender and flavoursome Pork Marinated in Miso takes no time to make. The marinating time is anywhere between 3-48 hours. Then, simply BBQ or grill the meat. The recipe calls for thinly sliced pork belly, but sliced pork loin works well too.
Total Time does not include the time to marinate.
- 300g/0.7lb thinly sliced pork belly (fat trimmed), cut to 10-12cm/4-4¾" long (note 1)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 60g/2.1oz brown miso (note 2)
- 2 tsp honey (note 3)
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Green salad leaves
Add the Miso Marinade ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
Put the pork slices in a zip lock plastic bag and pour the marinade into the bag (note 4).
Massage well ensuring that the miso marinade coats every piece of pork.
Remove as much air as possible from the plastic bag, seal it, and leave in the fridge for minimum 3 hours up to 48 hours.
Oil a griddle or BBQ and heat it over medium high heat.
If excessive amount of miso marinade is on the pork slice, scrape it off as the sweet miso can burn quickly.
Place pork slices on the griddle/BBQ and cook for 1-2 minutes until the outer edge of the pork piece becomes whitish.
Turn it over and cook another minute or so, then transfer to a plate.
Serve with green salad and tomatoes if using.
1. I bought sliced pork belly from a Korean butcher. My pork slices were 2-3mm thick and about 25cm long. So, I cut each strip to half so that each piece is easier to pick up with chopsticks. You can make them even shorter.
If you can only find a block of pork belly, it is easier to cut to half (or into 3 if the block is very large), then slice the block thinly perpendicular to the first cut. If the block of pork belly is very narrow, just slice it.
Instead of pork belly, you can use sliced pork loin. I usually buy a couple of pork loin chops, remove the bones and then butterfly the meat to make two thin slices out of a loin chop.
2. You can also use white miso but I’d suggest that you reduce the amount of honey slightly as white miso is sweeter than brown miso.
3. The amount of honey required depends on the type of miso you use, your palate and the type of honey. When the marinade is mixed, taste-test it and adjust the sweetness. It should not be too sweet, though.
I used honey so that it mixes easily with the other marinade ingredients. But you can substitute honey with 2⅓ teaspoons of sugar.
4. Alternatively, you can marinate the pork in a container. After mixing the miso marinade and pork well, place a piece of cling wrap on to cover the entire the surface of the meat. Then place the lid (if it comes with one) on or cover with cling wrap.
5. Nutrition per serving when served for three people. The amount of fat is high but this is based on the standard pork belly that contains a thick band of fat which is to be trimmed off per my recipe. The fat is also drained to some extent when cooked in BBQ/Griddle.
serving: 136g calories: 626kcal fat: 59g (91%) saturated fat: 20g (100%) trans fat: 0g polyunsaturated fat: 7g monounsaturated fat: 28g cholesterol: 72mg (24%) sodium: 875mg (36%) potassium: 238mg (7%) carbohydrates: 11g (4%) dietary fibre: 1.1g (4%) sugar: 7.3g protein: 12g vitamin a: 0.6% vitamin c: 0.5% calcium: 1.3% iron: 5.9%