This miso chicken recipe is a delicious and easy way to add some Asian-inspired flavors to your dinner menu.
Miso chicken is a delicious, Asian-inspired dish that uniquely flavors traditional chicken. This recipe combines the umami-rich flavors of miso paste, soy sauce, and ginger with a hint of sweetness from honey and a tangy kick of lime juice. The result is a juicy, flavorful chicken that will become a new dinner favorite.
Why This Recipe Works
- Miso paste adds a rich, savory flavor to the chicken.
- Combining soy sauce, honey, and lime juice perfectly balances sweet, salty, and sour flavors.
- Garlic and ginger add depth and complexity to the marinade, making the chicken taste even more delicious.
- The high-heat cooking method creates a nice sear on the outside of the chicken while keeping the inside moist and juicy.
Miso Paste Buying Guide
Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and can vary in flavor and texture depending on how it’s made and how long it’s fermented. Red and white miso paste are most commonly found in grocery stores and are perfect for making Miso Chicken. White is milder and sweeter than red, but both can work for this recipe.
You can find miso paste in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, typically near the tofu and other soy products. It’s also available in Asian markets and online retailers. You can buy the miso paste I used on Amazon (paid link). If you’re new to miso paste, start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
Once opened, miso paste can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a year in an airtight container. Use it within 6 months to a year for best quality, and discard it if it develops a strong odor or mold.
Miso paste: Use white or yellow miso paste for a milder flavor or red for a bolder umami flavor.
Soy sauce: Use a high-quality, low-sodium soy sauce for the best results. If you don’t have low sodium, use light sauce, but add it to taste as it can be salty (especially when used with miso paste).
Honey: Use high-quality, pure honey to achieve the best possible outcome. If you prefer, you can substitute maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey.
Light sesame oil: Light sesame oil adds a nutty flavor to the marinade and has a higher smoke point than pure sesame oil, so it won’t burn when cooking. You can substitute sesame oil with vegetable or canola oil if you don’t have sesame oil.
Garlic: Fresh garlic adds a pungent, aromatic flavor to the marinade. Use fresh garlic cloves for best results. You can substitute it with garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic.
Ginger: Fresh ginger adds a spicy, fragrant flavor to the marinade. Use fresh ginger root for the ideal flavor. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can substitute it with ground ginger.
Lime juice: Lime juice adds a tangy, acidic flavor to the marinade. Use fresh lime juice for optimal flavor. If you don’t have lime juice, substitute it with lemon juice or rice vinegar.
Step By Step Instructions
For The Marinade
Combining sweet honey, salty soy sauce, and savory miso paste creates a perfectly balanced marinade.
Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of light sesame oil, 4 tablespoons of miso paste, 4 minced garlic cloves, 4 teaspoons of minced fresh ginger, two sliced green onions, and 4 tablespoons of lime juice to a medium bowl.
Whisk it all together until it’s well combined.
Add 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the marinade and coat them well. Ensure the chicken is fully coated with the marinade to maximize its flavor. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will be.
Preparing Miso Chicken
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan and ensure a crispy exterior.
Place the chicken in the hot skillet and cook for 6 to 7 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the chicken thighs to ensure they develop a nice sear. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, which should reach 165°F (74°C) before it’s safe to eat.
If desired, turn the remaining marinade into a sauce by adding it to the skillet and cooking it for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens.
Garnish the chicken with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, and serve hot.
- Use a meat thermometer: To ensure the chicken is cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before it’s safe to eat.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: When cooking the chicken, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding can cause the chicken to steam instead of sear, resulting in a less crispy exterior. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary.
- Use a hot pan: To get a good sear on the chicken, it’s essential to use a hot pan. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot before adding the chicken. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water into the pan – if they sizzle and evaporate immediately, the pan is hot enough.
- Let the chicken rest: After cooking it, rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier, more flavorful chicken.
- Turn the marinade into a sauce: To turn the remaining marinade into a sauce, cook it in the skillet for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens. Be sure to cook the marinade long enough to eliminate potential raw chicken contamination. Alternatively, cook the marinade separately in a small saucepan and pour it over the chicken when serving.
- Use a non-reactive bowl: When mixing the marinade, use a non-reactive bowl such as glass or stainless steel. Reactive materials like aluminum or copper can react with the acid in the marinade and create a metallic taste.
Storage & Freezing Instructions
- Storage: Leftover miso chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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Let’s Make Miso Chicken
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs or chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons light sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 4 tablespoons miso paste
- 2 green onions sliced into rounds
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, miso paste, garlic, ginger, and lime juice. 4 tablespoons lime juice
- Add chicken thighs to the marinade and coat well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Remove chicken thighs from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade.
- Place chicken thighs in the hot skillet and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove chicken from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, and serve hot.