Miso-glazed chicken

Miso, fermented soybean paste, is a traditional Japanese ingredient that can impart a wonderful flavor to many non-Japanese dishes. In Japan I was amazed to see a dozen or more large barrels of miso on display at the market where customers could buy in bulk. There are many varieties in Japan and regional differences as well, but the main distinction is between shiromiso (white miso) and akamiso  (red miso), both of which are widely available in packaged form at Asian markets. It keeps essentially forever in the fridge. For this recipe I prefer the shiromiso for its somewhat milder and sweeter taste. Because miso is rather salty, you do not want to salt or brine the chicken. For this recipe you’ll also need mirin, sweet Japanese cooking wine.


4 whole skin-on chicken legs
1 c shiromiso
1 tsp powdered lemon grass
1 tsp ground white pepper
Mirin as needed (perhaps 1/2 c)

Mix the miso, lemongrass, and pepper in a bowl, adding enough mirin to get the desired consistency. Put half of this mixture in a large bowl with the chicken, mix well, and let sit for at least an hour. Longer is fine! Now you can either grill or bake.

To grill: Because the marinade contains sugar it can burn easily, so you need to use medium to medium-high heat keep an eye on things, moving the chicken to a cooler or hotter part of the grill as needed. Cook until done, perhaps 30-40 min, flipping and brushing with more marinade a couple of times.

To bake: Put a flat rack in a baking pan and spray with cooking spray. Put the legs, skin side up, on the rack and bake at 375 degrees until done, about 35 minutes or until the center of the thigh reads 165 degrees. Brush a couple of times with the extra marinade during cooking. No need to turn.

Explore posts in the same categories: Grilling, Poultry

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