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Simple Miso Stir-fry


Miso is a key ingredient in Japanese cooking but I was too scared to cook with it for a long time, mainly because I had no idea how! I stumbled upon this recipe when exploring the popular Japanese cooking site Cookpad last year and it started my love affair with miso. It’s a super easy stir-fry with a Japanese twist. I hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to experiment more with Japanese ingredients too.


Serves 1-2




Thinly sliced pork

Chinese (napa) cabbage

Shimeji mushrooms

Sesame oil

Salt and black pepper



Mirin** (sweet rice wine for cooking)


*Awase (mixed) works best but you could also use white miso for a sweeter taste.

**If you don’t have mirin, you can substitute it with cooking sake with a pinch of sugar.


4-5 leaves (from a 1/4 of a cabbage)

100g (about 1/2 a large packet)

1 Tablespoon

A pinch of each (or to taste)


2 Tablespoons

2 Tablespoons


Mirin- a sweetened cooking alcohol.
Mirin- a sweetened cooking alcohol.






  1. Cut the napa cabbage (and meat if needed) into bite sized-pieces and cut the roots off the shimeji mushrooms. Mix the miso and mirin in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and add the meat. Fry on medium heat.
  3. Once the meat cooks, add the shimeji mushrooms and the salt and pepper. Fry for around a minute.
  4. Add the white hard part of the cabbage and fry for another minute or until it starts to soften.
  5. Add the leaves, and once it starts to wilt add the miso sauce from step 1. Stir through the meat and vegetables and turn off the heat. Serve with rice.




Experiment with your favourite vegetables or meat. Don’t be afraid to tweak the sauce either – if you like it sweeter add a pinch of sugar, if it’s too sweet substitute some of the mirin with water. Some ideas to get you started.


l  Add some thinly chopped carrot sticks for some extra colour.

l  Make it meat free by substituting the pork with other types of mushrooms – I like eringi and shiitake.

l  Make a mushroom and renkon (lotus root) stir-fry. Peel the lotus root and cut into thin slices. Add after the mushrooms have cooked to retain their crunchy texture.



Helen Yuan



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