Poultry & Meat/ Recipes

Miso Chicken

Miso Chicken / www.quichentell.com

This easy Miso Chicken is one of my favourite high protein meals, that I cook quite often for dinner. It is quick, delicious, simple, needs very few ingredients and is light and healthy. I pan fried my Miso Chicken but you can choose to grill or even bake it in the oven.

Miso Chicken / www.quichentell.com

Know your miso

An essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine, miso is basically soybean paste fermented with salt and koji, which is the fungus Aspergillus Oryzae. Sometimes it is made with soybeans and other ingredients such as wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, seaweed and many others. The taste of miso is complex; apart from the obvious salt, it is funky in a good way like many fermented foods. I’ve found miso to have gentle sweetness, umami and many subtle notes that are quite hard to describe. For the purposes of cooking this Miso Chicken, it’s enough to know that I used shiromiso or white miso. The other commonly available flavour is the red akamiso. A mixed flavour, awasemiso is also available sometimes. White miso is lighter in colour and flavour while the red one is more intense. I use shiromiso in this recipe.

The flavours, colour and texture of miso depends on the period of fermentation, the utensil used, temperature, variety of koji, grains and salt content. Entire tomes have been written on miso; for us it’s enough to know that it’s a wonderful ingredient to cook with. Miso can be used to flavour soups, stews, marinades for vegetables and meats, sauces, dressings and even desserts. Miso is easily available on Amazon.

How to prepare the chicken

I used a couple of chicken breasts in this dish, since it serves two. I sliced each chicken breast in half horizontally. This isn’t hard to do. Place the breast flat side down on the board, hold it down with the palm of your hand and run a broad, sharp knife horizontally through the breast. You will have two, perfectly flat slices. You can lightly score the surface of the breasts for the marinade to penetrate but it’s not necessary. You can marinate the chicken for  a couple of hours or even overnight in the fridge.

Miso Chicken / www.quichentell.com

Chicken breasts have a negligible amount of fat and can dry-up easily if overcooked. They have to be done just right. To ensure that they were browned on the surface, fully cooked and still juicy inside, I pan – fried them on medium – high heat, covered for 4-5 minutes on each side. Keeping the lid on, allows the steam to cook the chicken, while keeping it plump and moist.Time is critical to get the chicken breasts just right. So don’t abandon your chicken, stay there, flip it after 4 minutes, cover and cook it for 4 minutes more. The caramelisation on top will make your mouth water and the juiciness of the meat will delight you. I tossed in some broccoli to complete the dish. In 8 minutes, they too are cooked beautifully – done but still crunchy (I’d rather not eat broccoli than eat overcooked broccoli).

With the summer heat soaring, spending long hours in the kitchen cooking meals can be quite exhausting. This recipe for  Miso Chicken is ideal for the season – a delicious meal that’s ready before you can say ”miso!”

Miso-Chicken / www.quichentell.com

Miso Chicken

Savoury, pan-fried chicken breasts marinated in a umami-rich miso marinade.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Marination time 2 hours
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2


  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, each sliced in half horizontally
  • 150 g broccoli cut into medium-sized florets
  • Salt (for the broccoli)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil

For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp shiro or white miso paste
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¾ tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or sherry


  • Mix all the ingredients for marinade into a thick paste. Place the chicken breasts in a flat dish and coat generously with the marinade. Let it rest for 2 hours or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat. When the oil is quite hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts in the pan (they should be flat, with maximum surface area touching the hot pan), scatter the broccoli florets on top, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • After 4 mins, flip the chicken breasts, very lightly sprinkle a little salt over the broccoli, cover and cook for a further 4 mins. The chicken should be browned and cooked through at the end of 4 mins. If a knife inserted into the thickest part of the meat releases clear juices, it's done.
  • Serve the chicken and broccoli warm with pan juices drizzled on top.

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