A GOOD Mirin Substitute

Posted on Aug 2, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

eggplant and okra shines with miso sauce

freshly harvested juicy corn smeared with miso sauce

baby back with miso sauce you never regret….! Delicious result.

If you read my previous blog post – Have Fun With ….Tofu, you have to find the answer to the GOOD mirin substitute question.

I had several unused bottles of a similar specialty product in my kitchen pantry for a couple of years. All of them came as gifts. I do not make pancakes or French toast, so the bottles were left unopened. Recently I visited Vermont and tasted some of the best products there. Then, my unused bottles came to mind. I promised myself to start using them after I returned to New York. First I sweetened the morning cereal with it. I poured it over buttered toast. Then I ventured to use it as a substitute for mirin. This idea worked perfectly. You now can guess what I am talking about. It is maple syrup. Today, maple syrup is playing the role of mirin in many of my Japanese preparations.

Here is a very quick-to-prepare, clean and tasty miso sauce made with maple syrup. This sauce is great to be used with grilled sweet corn, grilled onigiri rice ball, sautéed vegetables, baked chicken,…or as a marinade for a summer meat barbecue. There are more ideas in my book  “Hiroko’s American Kitchen” (https://hirokoskitchen.com/shop/hirokos-american-kitchen/)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon brown miso (my choice is Miso Master Miso brand – real miso*)

Italian chile flakes or yuzu kosho


Add lemon juice and maple syrup in a small saucepan, and cook until it reduces to half the volume of the original. Turn off the heat, add the miso and chile flakes, and mix thoroughly. This recipe is for a small batch, so please increase each ingredient for a larger batch.


*Are you looking for real, good, authentic miso? This is it. It is made in America by a Japanese miso master using traditional methods. It is organic, non-GMO, gluten free, Kosher and has great flavor.  See https://zesterdaily.com/cooking/traditional-japanese-miso-north-carolina/