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Miso-glazed Tuna Kebabs

December 31, 2008

Grilled Miso Glazed Tuna

I think my grill pan and I have finally come to an amicable agreement. I keep it clean and dry and rust-free, and oil it liberally before I use it, and it doesn’t send clouds of stinky smoke billowing through my apartment. I am so happy that we’re finally getting along, because I don’t think these tuna kebabs would have been nearly as flavorful if I had had to roast them or sear them or pan fry them. Grilling is definitely the way to go, so if you don’t live in a climate where late-December grilling is an option, I suggest you get yourself a grill pan tout de suite. You won’t regret it.

I used the same marinade here, from, with tofu a few weeks ago. And while it wasn’t bad, it just worked better with tuna. However, with a few tweaks I think it would have been just as good, so I’ll do my best to make some suggestions for those who don’t want to eat tuna.

Miso is a soy paste made by fermenting soy beans with various types of grains. Now, I normally stay away from things that are fermented, unless those things are wine, because I read something really, really disgusting about fermented soy beans awhile ago on the internets. I had never cooked with miso before, but I love it: It has a great salty, pucker-y flavor that was great with tuna. I’m already searching for other recipes that include miso.

Miso paste

I served these with a side of black beluga lentils and some broccoli, and I think I’m giving up on the black beluga lentils. They were weird and chewy and didn’t have the great earthy lentil flavor I love from red and green lentils. I think rice would have been a better grain to serve with these tuna kebabs. So, you live and learn. The broccoli was perfect, and is a great companion to the slightly sweet tuna glaze.

Grilled Miso Glazed Tuna

I changed the recipe a bit from the original, because I felt like there was just too much sugar the first time I made it. If you’re using tofu instead of tuna, I’d recommend using even less sugar.

Miso-glazed Tuna Kebabs

  • 1/2 c. white miso
  • 1/4 c. mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/8 c. water
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tuna steak or 1/4 lb. of tofu

If you’re using tofu, slice it into half inch slices and press them for about 30 minutes to firm them up and get some of the excess liquid out. The best way to do this is to lay the slices on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Lay more paper towels over the top, place another baking sheet over them, and weight the baking sheet with cans.

Whisk the miso, mirin, sugar, and water together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, quickly whisk in the mayonnaise, and let cool (I might skip the mayonnaise the next time I make this).

Cut the tuna (or tofu) into 1-inch pieces. Pour the marinade over the tuna/tofu in a non-reactive bowl, and let chill for at least an hour.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and oil well with peanut oil (or canola oil). Or, of course if you’re lucky, heat your outdoor grill up nice and hot.

Thread the tofu or the tuna onto skewers, leaving just a bit of space between each piece. Let them drip off a bit over the marinade bowl so they’re not too wet. Then grill each skewer for about 5 or 6 minutes (less if you like your tuna more raw than I do), turning once in between. Let them stand for another five minutes or so before serving.

Grilled Miso Glazed Tuna

Yellowfin tuna is endangered, which makes me very, very sad because I love to eat it. I know it also shows high levels of mercury contamination, making it not so great for a woman my age to eat. But if you, like me, can’t stay away from tuna completely, try to find albacore tuna. Apparently, Yellowfin tuna that is caught in the US Atlantic by troll/pole fishing methods is more ok, but good luck finding out where, exactly, that Yellowfin you’re eyeing came from and how it was caught. Light canned tuna is ok, but obviously won’t work too well for this recipe.

Maybe the tofu is a better bet, after all. Either way, this is an easy marinade, and I suspect it would complement lots of different fish. I might try it with shrimp next. If any of you experiment with other protein delivery methods, let me know how it turns out.

And happy new year! Tonight I’ll be hunkering down with Mr. X in the snow storm (thanks New England), making the roommate’s chicken braid for dinner and toasting to another year of good friends, family, good times, and good food. Thanks to all of you who have kept coming back and reading, even when it seemed I had disappeared off the face of the earth. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful New Years Eve, and an even better 2009!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2008 11:05 pm

    That looks good I love tuna and that would be great.If you want more grilling recipes or if you want to take a look at the collection of tips I have for grilling you can visit

  2. Maggie permalink
    January 2, 2009 10:46 pm

    Wow this tuna & the kale recipes look so good, I have to try it. Indoor grill? I may have to see what that is, though I could grill outside all year round I haven’t figured out if my fire escape would be good for that! Thanks for the postings and I hope 2009 brings you to CA.

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