Yakizakana: Grilled Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke

Grilled Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け

Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け
Misozuke creates a wonderful taste for grilled fish, chicken and even beef. Sake and mirin is added to miso paste, just like the kind used for soup, and then the fish is marinated for a day or two. I used a cut of tuna ‘throat’ for this.

The other day when I discovered these maguro tuna ‘throats’, there were both thick and thin slices. I bought a package of both. The thick ones I marinated in sake kasu (see this article for details) and these thinner slices I did in miso.

Maguro Tuna ‘Nodo’
Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け

Misozuke is easy and very tasty. Just mix miso paste with sake and mirin. You can probably use white cooking wine and sugar if cooking sake and mirin cannot be obtained. Miso used for misozuke is usually the ‘sweet’ variety. Dark/red is salty and light/brown is sweet. Kyoto’s miso is particularly light in color and is often used for misozuke. (I used barley miso for this, probably not orthodox.)

Usually fish is marinated in miso but chicken is quite common. Beef is wonderful. You can just pack a steak in miso paste with a small amount of sake for a day and then cook it on the grill. It is divine.

Marinade: Miso Paste, Sake and Mirin
Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け
This is barley miso, it is the right color and sweetness for good misozuke.

Marinade: Miso Paste, Sake and Mirin
Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け

Maguro in Marinade
Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け

Marinated Maguro
Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け
After marinating, the miso is wiped off, but not washed. Notice there are still a few bits of miso on the fish. This adds flavor but burns easily.

Grilled Misozuke
Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke 本まぐろの味噌漬け
Being thin, these cooked a little quicker than expected. They got a little burned but were still plenty tasty.

How did it taste?
These slices were rather thin and got a little over-grilled. After cooking, there wasn’t a lot to eat, but what there was was mighty tasty! The richness and fattiness of the tuna is ever present and the miso brings sweetness and also of course the flowery bouquet of the ferment. The skin of such a large fish is not edible and there are two bones, just like in a beef steak, but the cartilage which after being grilled can be eaten. It is pleasantly gooey and tasty.

This was nice but the slices were a little too thin I think. The thicker cuts that we did in sake kasu were better. (see article)

3 Responses to “Yakizakana: Grilled Hon Maguro Tuna Misozuke”

  1. Tess says:

    This looks delicious! But where I live, I could never find this cut of fish!!
    I have used this technique with beef, and recently with lamb. And then with scallops.
    I put the miso/marinade into the bottom of a flat dish, cover with a cotton cloth, put the meat or fish on that, then cover with another cloth and finally more miso/marinade. This way there is no waste of the miso mixture, which can be used again.
    I was surprised that the scallops worked so well. Usually beef works well because there is a lot of fat. The miso draws out liquid from the fat and it makes it more crisp.
    But scallops don’t have fat. I don’t understand why it worked. Food in misozuke can burn very easily because the salt in the miso draws out liquid. I didn’t leave the scallops in the miso marinade very long and perhaps only the outside of the scallops lost moisture, so when they cooked, the outside seared and sealed in the liquid?
    I don’t know if this makes sense?

  2. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Tess, Where I live I could never find this cut of fish either! ha ha (I had never seen or heard of it, cheeks, kama, the entire marugo head I have had, but never the throat.)

    Scallops in miso sound nice. I will have to try that one! Beef is wonderful in miso, but I have not done it for a few years. Sometimes I order it in a restaurant or buy pre-marinated steaks.

  3. Amy says:

    What a beautiful cut of tuna, how lucky you were to find it! I don’t allow myself to eat tuna often, but salt-grilled tuna cheeks and collars are some of my favourite foods ever–what is it about the front end of the fish that makes it so tasty?

    As for misozuke, I really don’t like for with beef, but love it for pork. Those fatty boneless pork chops sold in Japan work really well with a miso or miso and kasu marinade.

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