Asian Recipes/ Condiments and Sauces/ Japanese/ Recipes/ Side Dish

Nikumiso – Japanese Miso Meat Sauce

11/01/2023 (Last Updated: 13/07/2023)

Add a burst of umami flavour to your favourite dishes with nikumiso! This easy Japanese miso meat sauce features a flavour-packed blend of pork mince and mushrooms simmered to perfection with classic Japanese seasonings.

Three lettuce cups filled with nikumiso sit on a wooden board next to chopsticks.

Why We Love This

Nikumiso makes a great little side dish when you need something extra to go alongside bigger meals such as okonomiyaki or chicken nanban.

A super versatile condiment, keep a batch of niku miso in the fridge or freezer and use it for topping, stuffing or as the star of the dish alongside rice bowls or udon noodles.

Related: Simmered Daikon / Sushi Rice

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A close up of pork mince cooked Japanese style and topped spring onion.

What is Nikumiso? 

Nikumiso (also written as niku miso or 肉味噌) translates to miso meat. It’s a thick sauce made from pork mince, mushrooms and popular Japanese seasonings such as sake, soy sauce and red miso paste.

It’s often served as a side dish or accompaniment to a meal, found in both restaurants and homemade on the tables of many Japanese households.

What You’ll Need

  • Red Miso Paste – Sub with half red and half white miso paste or just white for milder flavour.
  • Pork Mince – The star of the dish! Get the freshest, best quality available for the best results.
  • Mushrooms – White button mushrooms work well, or sub for any variety you like!
  • Sugar – This balances out the saltiness from the soy sauce and red miso paste.
  • Soy Sauce – Use a Japanese brand if possible such as Kikkoman, as it is lighter in flavour and salt than other varieties such as Chinese or cheap soy sauce brands.
  • Cooking Sake – Adds another depth to the flavour and helps to tenderise the pork mince. Get cooking sake at an Asian grocer, in your local Asian aisle at the supermarket or sub with Chinese cooking wine.
  • Garlic and Ginger – Fresh chopped ginger and garlic work best. It gives the broth a nice flavour punch!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month or two.

FAQs

Can I make this vegan?

While nikumiso is traditionally made with pork, just swap it out for firm tofu, broken down into a tofu mince and you’ll have a just-as-tasty vegan version!

Variations

  • Protein – Swap out the pork for beef, chicken, or even turkey.
  • Mushrooms – Swap button mushrooms for Japanese favourites such as shimeji, shiitake or enoki varieties.
Nikumiso is topped on a rice bowl with lettuce cups in the background.

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Three lettuce cups are filled with a nikumiso meat sauce.

Nikumiso – Japanese Pork and Miso Sauce

Add a burst of umami flavour to your favourite dishes with nikumiso! This easy Japanese miso meat sauce features a flavour-packed blend of pork mince and mushrooms simmered to perfection with classic Japanese seasonings.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 side dish portions
Calories: 226kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the red miso paste, sugar, soy sauce, cooking sake, garlic and ginger in a small bowl and mix well to form a sauce paste.
    2 tbsp red miso paste, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp cooking sake, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp ginger
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the pork mince and fry until browned, around 3 minutes.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil, 250 g pork mince
  • Add the mushrooms and fry for 1-2 minutes until softened.
    4 mushrooms
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the sauce paste and water. Stir through and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
    ⅓ cup water
  • Serve topped on rice, and garnish with optional spring onion / green onion.
    spring onion / green onion

Recipe Notes

  • Storage – Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month or two.
  • Protein – Swap out the pork for beef, chicken, or even turkey.
  • Mushrooms – Swap button mushrooms for Japanese favourites such as shimeji, shiitake or enoki varieties.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Nikumiso – Japanese Pork and Miso Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
226
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Cholesterol
 
45
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
857
mg
37
%
Potassium
 
287
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
13
g
26
%
Vitamin A
 
12
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
18
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Nikumiso - Japanese Miso Meat Sauce

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