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MISOZUKE: How To Make Japanese Pickles With Miso

how to make misozuke, Japanese pickles, miso paste, recipe, tsukemono Food & Recipes

“Misozuke” is marinating vegetables/ other ingredients in miso paste. Since miso paste contains enough sodium and flavor to the food, this method has been around to store food for ancient years. Just marinate seasonal vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, turnips, and Daikon radish in the same amount of miso paste (red/ yellow) and sugar. Adding yogurt instead of sugar can reduce sugar levels. -What’s TSUKEMONO|

How To Make MISODOKO: MISODOKO Ingredients


Misodoko is the marinade mixture made of miso paste and other condiments to make MISOZUKE pickled food.

You can use just miso paste only, or add sugar, honey, sake, or Mirin as you like.


Miso paste has many types by color, raw materials, aging, or manufacturing method.

You can use any types of miso that you like.

Also, the salty flavor varies depending on the types of miso that you choose.

If you like sweetness in MISOZUKE pickles, choose SHIRO (white) miso.

When you choose Red miso, pickles will be dramatically salty.

So, I recommend yellow (Awase) miso or white miso, and rice miso for MISOZUKE pickles to begin.

Salty MISOZUKE (Great For Rice, As Nibbles For Drinking)

  • 2 cups of Red/yellow miso paste
  • 3 tbsp of Mirin (or Japanese sake/ white wine/ sherry 1.5 tbsp + Sugar 1.5 tbsp) or more
  • *Boil alcohol down before mixing.

Sweet MISOZUKE (Easy To Eat, Friendly Sweet&Mild Miso Taste)

  • Use White Miso only


  • 2 cups of Red/yellow miso paste
  • 1/3 cup of Mirin (or Japanese sake/ white wine/ sherry 2.5 tbsp + Sugar 2.5 tbsp) or more
  • *Boil alcohol down before mixing.

Typical Condiments For MISODOKO

You can use miso paste only to make MISOZUKE pickles as I said.

Besides, you don’t need other condiments when using SHIRO (white) miso which is originally sweet and mild flavor.

Yet, adding other condiments is recommended to make the TSUKEMONO flavor milder and sweeter, especially when using yellow/ red miso.

Mirin is typically used for adding sweetness to the pickles.

MIrin has a sweetness and Umami flavor of sake (a fermented food) so you don’t need to add sugar and Sake. (Except for when you want extra sweetness.)

If you don’t have Mirin at home (like me), you can substitute Japanese sake (white wine/ sherry) and sugar for mirin.

Boil Alcohol Down Before Adding Sake

Be sure to boil Alcohol down before adding Mirin or Sake (white wine/ sherry) to MISODOKO since alcohol brings an unpleasant flavor to MISOZUKE pickles.

It is delicious even if you add dried red chili pepper or ginger.

Add ground (minced) garlic or add citrus peel to make it twisted.

How Long Does MISODOKO Last?

Misodoko is reusable unless it gets watery.

Remove the water after marinating vegetables if needed, and repeat making MISOZUKE pickled vegetables.

It can last for a month when it is simmered until it gets thick again over low heat once it gets watery.

Use the MISODOKO for other dishes such as miso soup, miso sauce, or adding stir-fry.

What Is The Best For MISOZUKE


  • Asparagus
  • Avocado (click here for the recipe!)
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon Radish
  • Parsnips
  • Radish
  • Tomatoes

Cut vegetables into a large size since it’ll be too salty MISOZUKE pickles.

Even leave the vegetables without cutting and submerge them in the MISODOKO.

Slice the pickled vegetables before serving.

When you want to make the small batch of MISOZUKE, slice the vegetables and pickle them in a storage bag.


Especially, cucumber is easily marinated and releases much water so it is recommended to use a storage bag, not submerge it in the MISODOKO.

Since cucumber is quickly pickled, it can be served after 2 hours.

Do You Need Salted/ Dried Vegetables Before Marinating?

In some recipes, it is recommended to salt vegetables that contain much water contents like cucumber, and cabbage before submerging them in the MISODOKO.

Salting vegetables can protect pickled vegetables from getting too salty and also keep MISODOKO last longer.

However, the salt content should be the same concentration of MISODOKO to apply vegetables, which means not so easy, personally, I don’t salt them before marinating.

Contrary, I often dry cucumbers and carrots before making Japanese pickles since the texture becomes crunchy and absorbs flavor from pickling juice.

How To Dry Vegetables?


  • Meat (pork/chicken recommended)
  • Fish
  • Tofu (Click here for the recipe)
  • Cheese (Click here for the recipe)
  • Boiled egg (click here for the recipe!)

Equipment To Make MISOZUKE Pickles

  • Spatula/ whisk to mix MISODOKO
  • A bowl/ a saucepan to boil alcohol down
  • A clean sterilized container with a lid (made of Enamel/ ceramic/ glass)
how to make misozuke, Japanese pickles, miso paste, recipe, tsukemono


Rico McConnellRico McConnell
If you want to add more quick pickles recipes, then these miso pickles are coming next to try at home. Japanese pickles are mostly salty! so as MISOZUKE. To avoid salty MISOZUKE pickles, choose sweet miso paste and check out the pickling process every 3 hours. Also, cut vegetables into a large size or don't cut them! Add more sugar if you like sweeter. I love my MISODOKO (the pickling “bed", the mix for pickling) for providing traditional Japanese (salty) food to my kitchen! (Oh, I've been missing WASHOKU at my home in Japan. ) You don't need attention every day – not just like NUKADOKO. Just mix your choice of Miso paste, sugar, and Sake. Enjoy probiotic-rich, fragrant pickles to accompany rice, salad, and Japanese Sake.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 1 day
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Japanese


  • 1 clean sterilized container with a lid



  • 2 cups Miso paste (red/ yellow)
  • 3 tablespoons Mirin*
  • 1.5 tablespoons Sugar or honey *Substitute for mirin
  • 1.5 tablespoons Japanese sake/ white wine/ Sherry *Substitute for mirin

MISODOKO: Sweet & Mild

  • 2 cups White Miso paste or red/yellow miso paste
  • ⅓ or more cup Mirin* (For when using red/ yellow miso paste)
  • ⅓ or more cup Sugar or honey *Substitute for mirin
  • ⅓ or more cup Japanese sake/ white wine/ Sherry *Substitute for mirin

Ingredient Suggestions

  • carrot
  • celery
  • radish
  • Read the post for more ideas



  • Boil alcohol in Mirin/ Sake/ white wine down by boiling or microwaving. Let it cool.
    *Check out the post about how to boil alcohol down in cooking. (click here)
    How To Burn Off Alcohol In Japanese Cooking
  • Combine well miso paste, sugar (honey), and sake(white wine) with a spatula or whisk.
  • *You don't need to add sugar and sake when using white miso.

Marinate Ingredients

  • Select fresh vegetables, wash and rinse them well.
  • Cut vegetables into large pieces, or skip cutting.
    *Avoid cutting too small since they'll be too salty.
  • Apply ⅓ of the MISODOKO to the bottom of the clean container.
  • Submerge the vegetables in the paste.
  • Cover the vegetables with the MISODOKO.
  • Add more vegetables if desired. Be sure all ingredients are submerged fully.
  • Refrigerate the vegetables in MISODOKO for a few hours to overnight depending on how you cut, them and how you like the taste.
  • Rinse (or wipe) off the MISODOKO from the pickled vegetables before serving.
  • Remove all vegetables in 1-3 days before marinating them too long and transfer them to another container.
  • Remove the water in the MISODOKO if needed. You can repeat making MISOZUKE pickles as long as the MISODOKO gets watery for up to a month.
  • Use MISODOKO for miso soup, miso sauce, or other dishes.



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Keyword Easy, Fermented food, Healthy, Izakaya, Miso, Nibbles, pickled, Sake, Traditional, Vegetables, Vegetarian
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