How to Make Miso Cured Egg Yolks: A Unique Umami Garnish

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine transforming simple egg yolks into a gourmet ingredient that’s both versatile and bursting with umami flavor. That’s what you get with miso cured egg yolks, a delightful delicacy that’s surprisingly easy to make at home. Originating from the culinary traditions of Japan, where miso paste is a staple, this recipe brings a touch of sophistication to your dishes.

Miso curing involves coating egg yolks in a mixture of miso paste, which not only flavors but also preserves them, creating a uniquely rich and savory garnish. After curing, the yolks become firm and cheese-like, perfect for grating over pasta, salads, or even toast. Ready to elevate your cooking with this simple yet impressive technique? Let’s dive into the world of miso cured egg yolks and explore how you can incorporate them into your next meal.


To embark on your journey of making miso-cured egg yolks, you will need to gather the following ingredients. Ensure these are ready before you start:

  • 4 large egg yolks (ensure they are very fresh)
  • 1 cup white miso paste (for enveloping the yolks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (this helps in the curing process)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (adds a subtle sweetness)
  • Non-stick baking paper and a small container with a lid (for curing and storage)

Prepare your workspace by ensuring it’s clean and you have enough room to work comfortably. This will make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Tools and Equipment

To embark on your journey of making miso-cured egg yolks, it’s imperative that you have the correct tools and equipment on hand. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need to ensure your culinary expedition is a success.

Essential Tools

  • Non-stick Baking Sheet – This will be used to lay out your egg yolks after they emerge from their miso curing bath. Non-stick is crucial to prevent the yolks from adhering to the surface.
  • Parchment Paper – Place this on your baking sheet for an extra guarantee against sticking and to make cleanup a breeze.
  • Airtight Container – You’ll require a container with a tight-fitting lid to house the egg yolks while they cure in the miso mixture. A clear container is preferable so you can easily check on the progress without disturbing the yolks.
  • Small Mixing Bowl – Used for combining the miso paste, sugar, and mirin into a homogeneous mixture that will coat your egg yolks evenly.
  • Whisk or Spoon – Essential for mixing the miso paste, sugar, and mirin. Ensure a smooth blend to evenly coat the yolks.
  • Plastic Wrap – Useful for covering the egg yolks when placed in the refrigerator, ensuring no unwanted odors permeate your curing yolks.
  • Fine Mesh Sieve – Handy for removing any large miso particles that could cling to the egg yolks, ensuring a smooth, clean finish on your cured yolks.
  • Gloves (Optional) – While not mandatory, gloves can help keep your hands clean and free of miso. They can also prevent any oils from your skin from contaminating the ingredients.

With these tools and equipment prepared and at your disposal, you’re all set to start curing your egg yolks with miso. Each item plays a pivotal role in the process, ensuring that your culinary creation turns out perfectly.

Prep Work

Getting started on your miso-cured egg yolks involves some simple but crucial preparation steps.

Separating the Egg Yolks

Begin by separating the egg yolks from the whites. For best results, use cold eggs as they are easier to handle. Crack each egg gently, using the shell halves to shuttle the yolk back and forth, allowing the white to fall away into a bowl below. Take care not to break the yolks. Once separated, gently place each yolk into its own small dish or holder; this prevents them from breaking before curing.

Preparing the Miso Mixture

Prepare the miso mixture that will cure the yolks. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of white miso paste with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of mirin. Use a whisk or a spoon to mix these ingredients until they form a smooth, homogenous paste. This mix will not only cure the yolks but will also infuse them with a deep umami flavor that enhances their richness. Ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is even, without any lumps.

Curing Process

Now that you have your miso mixture ready and your egg yolks separated, let’s get into the heart of the curing process. This step is crucial for achieving the rich, umami-packed flavor of the yolks.

Coating the Egg Yolks

Start by laying out a sheet of non-stick baking paper on a flat surface. With clean hands or using gloves, gently place each egg yolk on the paper. Make sure they are spaced well apart to avoid merging during the curing process.

Take your miso mixture and spread it evenly over each yolk. Be generous with the miso, ensuring each yolk is entirely coated with a thick layer of the mixture. This miso ‘bed’ will be where the magic happens, infusing the yolks with flavor and starting the preservation process. Once coated, gently cover the yolks with another layer of non-stick baking paper to protect them.

Storing for Curing

Transfer the covered yolks into a container. For best results, use an airtight container to prevent any air from disrupting the curing process. Place the container in the refrigerator, ensuring it remains undisturbed.

Allow the yolks to cure in the refrigerator for at least one week. This duration is crucial as it gives the miso enough time to impart its flavors deeply into the yolks while also drawing out moisture, thus thickening and intensifying the texture and taste of the yolks.

During this week, try to resist the temptation to check on them too frequently — patience is key! After a week, you may remove the yolks from the miso, and they will be ready for the next step of washing and drying, leading up to their final, delectable state, ready to enhance your dishes with their unique flavor and texture.

After Curing

After a week of patient waiting, your egg yolks have transformed, ready to bring a burst of umami to your dishes.

Removing Egg Yolks from Miso

Carefully open your container and use a spoon or spatula to gently lift each yolk out of the miso paste. It’s normal for the yolks to feel firmer and have a gel-like texture, thanks to their time marinating in the miso. Be gentle to avoid breaking them. Once removed, lightly scrape off any excess miso clinging to the yolks using the back of a spoon or a small knife. If you plan to use miso paste in the future, consider straining it through a fine mesh sieve and storing it in the fridge for other culinary uses.

Final Cleaning and Drying

After removing the bulk of the miso paste, rinse each yolk carefully under cold running water. This will remove any remaining miso fragments and ensure the yolks are clean. Then, transfer the yolks to a paper towel-lined plate or a clean kitchen towel. Pat them gently to absorb any excess moisture. For the best texture, allow the yolks to air-dry on a wire rack in the refrigerator for another 12 to 24 hours. This final drying step is crucial as it further solidifies the yolks and enhances their flavor, making them perfect for grating or slicing over your favorite dishes.

Serving Suggestions

Once your miso-cured egg yolks are beautifully solid and packed full of umami, You’ll find they can elevate almost any dish with a gourmet touch. Here’s how to best serve your cured egg yolks to enhance a variety of meals.

Grated Over Pasta

Try grating the dried yolks over a steamy bowl of your favorite pasta. The yolks work especially well with simpler sauces such as aglio e olio or carbonara, where they can meld with the sauce, adding a rich depth of flavor.

Sliced on Toast

For an elegant breakfast or brunch, slice your cured yolks thinly and lay them over buttered toast. Top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like chives or parsley for a dish that is as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Incorporated Into Salads

Grate or crumble the cured yolks over a fresh green salad. They pair wonderfully with vinaigrette dressings and add a savory, cheese-like flavor that makes every bite more intriguing.

As a Garnish for Soups

Finely grate your cured yolks over warm soup just before serving. They are particularly delightful over Asian-style broths like miso or ramen, where they slowly merge into the broth, adding creamy richness.

In Rice Dishes

Sprinkle grated or crumbled yolks over a hot bowl of rice. Whether it’s a simple bowl of steamed rice or a more complex dish like risotto, the yolks’ savory quality will enhance the meal’s overall umami.

Each serving suggestion utilizes the distinct flavors and textures of miso-cured egg yolks, ensuring that your culinary creations leave a lasting impression. Whether you choose to slice, grate, or crumble them, these yolks are sure to add a depth of flavor that elevates your dishes to new heights.

Tips and Tricks

When you venture into making miso-cured egg yolks at home, there are a few key tips and tricks to ensure your success and enhance the flavors of your dishes. Getting the perfect texture and taste can be a rewarding culinary experience.

Choose the Right Miso Paste

Selecting the ideal miso paste is crucial for curing your egg yolks. The type of miso not only influences the flavor but also impacts the salinity and moisture level of the curing medium. White miso is often recommended for its mild and slightly sweet taste, which complements the rich yolk without overpowering it. However, if you prefer a stronger umami presence, opt for red or mixed miso.

Maintain Optimal Curing Conditions

The environment in which you cure your egg yolks affects their quality. Ensure the yolks are fully submerged in miso and maintain a consistent temperature in your refrigerator. Typically, the yolks require at least four days of curing. Checking the consistency daily can help you determine the perfect curing time based on your taste preference. The yolks should feel firm to the touch and slightly springy when they’re ready.

Handling and Storage

Handling these delicate yolks requires a gentle touch. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to carefully remove the yolks from the miso paste. Too much pressure can break them. Once cured, wrap each yolk in cheesecloth and store them in the refrigerator. They can last up to a month when stored properly, allowing you to savor their unique flavor in various dishes.

Utilizing Leftover Miso Paste

Don’t discard the miso paste used for curing! It absorbs some of the flavors from the egg yolks and can be repurposed in many recipes. You can use it as a base for soups, a marinade for meats, or a seasoning for vegetables. This not only enhances your dishes but also ensures no waste in your kitchen.

By following these tips, you’ll master the art of making miso-cured egg yolks and can enjoy this gourmet treat in your cooking with ease.


So now that you’ve got the lowdown on making your own miso-cured egg yolks why not give it a try? It’s a simple yet impressive way to elevate your dishes with a burst of umami flavor. Whether you’re sprinkling them over your morning avocado toast or enhancing a cozy bowl of soup these yolks promise to add a touch of gourmet to your everyday meals. Remember to enjoy the process and relish the flavors you create. Happy cooking!

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