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Nuta (ぬた or 饅) is a miso and vinegar based dressing. It is made with miso, vinegar and sugar, with or without Japanese mustard. One of the representative nuta is tuna and shallots (scallions) nuta. It is a great accompaniment for drinks, particularly sake. Miso dressing goes well with many different ingredients and you can be creative.
Squid with Cucumber and Wakame Nuta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Nuta is made with miso, vinegar and sugar, with or without Japanese mustard. You will be surprised to see how well the miso dressing goes with squid. It is great accompaniment for drinks, particularly sake.
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2 as sides, 4 as appetiser
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 100g (3.5oz) squid cut into strips of 1.5cm x 4cm (5/8" x 1 5/8") , blanched (note 1)
  • 2g (0.1oz) dried cut wakame (わかめ, seaweed), rehydrated
  • 100g (3.5oz) cucumber , thinly sliced
  • Sal
Sumiso Dressing
  • 4 tbsp awase-miso or brown miso (note 2)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp hot mustard (note 3)
  1. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the cucumber slices and leave for 10 minutes to soften them. Rinse and squeeze the water out.
  2. Squeeze water out of wakame.
  3. Add all the Sumiso Dressing ingredients, except mustard into a small pot and heat over medium low heat.
  4. Mix well until the dressing becomes smooth without miso lumps and the edge of the sauce starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and let it cool down to at least room temperature. Do not heat too long otherwise the sauce will become too thick (note 4).
  5. Add mustard and mix well and cool it down.
  6. Divide squid, cucumber and wakame into 2 or 4 (if appetiser) serves and place them onto each plate without mixing them.
  7. Drop a half or a quarter (if appetiser) of the sumiso dressing on the side and serve.
Recipe Notes

1. I bought one fresh calamari which weighed 210g (7.4oz).

To prepare calamari/squid for nuta (also see the photo steps below the recipe):

a. Remove guts by gently pulling the tentacles from the body. Cut off the tentacles from just below the eyes keeping all tentacles intact. Push out the beak in the middle of the tentacles and discard.
b. Slice open the body tube by cutting vertically through the centre of the body on the side with no wings.
c. Remove the backbone and scrape off the guts attached to the inner skin.
d. Remove the wings off the body. Often, you can pull the skin off the body with the sings. From the edge of the body, peel the remaining brownish skin off. Remove the brown skin off the wings as well. Discard the skin. Use a paper towel to hold the skin and peel if too slimy.
e. Score the body half way through the flesh with a sharp knife making a crosshatch pattern.
f. Cut the tentacles joint to separate tentacles into few groups.

2. Depending on the type of miso used, the amount of sugar may need to be adjusted. If you use Saikyo miso (white sweet miso), you do not need to add sugar. If you use brown miso, then you need to increase the amount of sugar to 1 teaspoon. It is also dependant on your preference.

3. It is ideal to use karashi (からし, Japanese mustard) but hot English mustard is also OK.

4. To check the consistency of the sauce, scoop the sauce with a spoon and try to drop the sauce into the pot. It should slowly drop like cold gravy. If too thick, add some water.

To cool it down faster, put the dressing in the fridge.