Miso Fried Rice is the perfect accompaniment to almost any dish. With a delicate texture, full of rich and bold umami flavors, it's ideal for soaking up excess sauce and it adds a wonderful heartiness to a meal.
With thousands of varieties, and an infinite number of ways to flavor and serve it, rice is a staple for billions of people all over the world.
With its complex sweet, salty, umami flavor, I love adding miso to rice. And I always try have some sort of rice at the ready to serve with meals, or to add to other recipes. It's a great way to make a meal heartier or to balance it out.
Of course it can also be a fantastic dish in and of itself, and this miso rice dish is a perfect example. Though excellent as is, you can also add vegetables and/or protein to it to make it a main course.
- cooked rice - My favorite rice varieties, and I think the best rice for fried rice, are Jasmine and Basmati, which are both a longer grain. They’re usually lighter and can better absorb the flavors of the other ingredients without becoming mushy.
- mirin - Mirin is a sweet rice wine and you should be able to find it in any Asian market and in most larger grocery stores.
- low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari - Tamari is slightly thicker and richer than regular soy sauce, and it's usually gluten-free. You can use either one.
- white or light miso paste - Miso is a traditional Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans. There are three main types of miso paste: white miso (Shiro), red miso (Aka), and yellow miso (Shinshu). White miso paste is the most mild and works well with the other ingredients in this recipe. You can find it in most grocery stores and definitely in Asian markets.
- chili paste - I use Sambal Oelek.
- fresh ginger - Fresh ginger roots should be firm and feel heavy for their size. The best way to grate it for the miso sauce is with a microplane zester.
- fresh garlic - Look for firm heads of garlic without any soft spots or green shoots, which are bitter and a sign it's old. (Pro tip: if there are green shoots in garlic you already have, just cut the cloves in half and remove them with the tip of a paring knife. The rest of the clove should still be good.)
- Furikake - Furikake is a popular Japanese seasoning (or condiment) that's typically made of seaweed and toasted sesame seeds. It can be found in Asian grocery stores and upscale markets like Whole Foods and Erewhon (if you’re in S. California), and more and more it’s showing up in larger mainstream grocery stores. You can also get it here online.
- cilantro - Look for perky, bright green bunches.
- neutral oil - Grapeseed or vegetable.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
- I use Jasmine rice, but you can use any rice you like. A medium to long grain rice is best, and brown rice works well too.
- chili paste. The chili paste can be substituted with finely minced hot peppers, like Thai or Serrano. Sriracha sauce can also be used as a substitute.
- fresh garlic. Minced shallots can substitute the garlic, but since it's less pungent and less sharp, use a bit more of the chili paste. You can also substitute it with about the half the amount of granulated garlic or garlic powder.
- fresh ginger. Though fresh is the best for this recipe, you can use about half of the amount of ground ginger if necessary.
- Furikake. To substitute Furikake, mix toasted sesame seeds with Nori (1:1). Crumble the Nori until it’s in tiny pieces before mixing.
- cilantro. Finely chopped green onions (scallions), chives or basil can be used to substitute the cilantro.
- neutral oil. If you want, for a slightly richer miso rice, feel free to use butter instead. Miso butter is amazing!
- If you'd like to make the rice a heartier dish for a vegetarian main course, add sautéed mushrooms, spinach, red bell peppers, gai lan, or any combination thereof. Mushrooms and peppers should be sautéed before you begin the rice, and the greens can be added just to wilt them when the rice is almost done.
- For a non-vegetarian main course, in addition to, or instead of the above listed vegetables, add a protein. Tofu, steak, chicken or shrimp would be delicious. If you choose to add one, sauté it first and once it's cooked, remove it from the pan and then carry on with the rice instructions in the same pan, and add it to the rice when it's done.
- Fried rice for breakfast? Fried rice and eggs is absolutely delicious! You can mix scrambled eggs into the rice with the miso sauce, or add a fried egg on top. It's scrumptious! (And don't forget, breakfast for dinner is always a hit!)
- If you like sesame, add about a tablespoon of sesame oil at the end of the cooking process, and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.
- This miso rice recipe can be made with plain leftover rice. You don't need to use freshly cooked rice.
- The longer you sauté the rice, the more caramelized and golden it will become.
- With a slightly high flame, some of the rice will become crispy, which is delicious. Just be sure to watch it closely so it doesn't become too dark.
- Want to make it spicier? Add more chili paste or finely chopped Thai chili peppers.
- Gluten-free? If you're gluten-free, or cooking for someone who is, be sure to use either Tamari or a gluten-free soy sauce, and gluten-free miso paste (not all of them are).
How to Make It
- In a bowl big enough to hold all of the rice, whisk the miso paste with the mirin, soy sauce, chili paste, Furikake, garlic, ginger and sugar.
- Add the cooked rice to the bowl and mix until it's evenly coated with the miso mixture.
- Place a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with the oil. Once it's hot, add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it's very aromatic and some of the rice is slightly golden, about 8 minutes. Mix in the cilantro and serve.
Other Fantastic Rice Sides
- Roasted Garlic Basil Rice
- Coconut Cilantro Rice
- Saffron Rice with Dill
- Cranberry Wild Rice
- Kimchi Fried Rice
It's hard to think of much that Miso Fried Rice couldn't be served with. It will nicely round off any meal. Alongside chicken, pork, steak, fish and beneath vegetable stir-fries, the possibilities are near endless.
With the miso and other Asian ingredients, it's naturally especially delicious with -- though not limited to -- other dishes with Asian flavors. Below are a few of my favorites to serve with it:
- Broiled Black Cod with Bok Choy
- Honey-Sriracha Glazed Tofu and Broccoli
- Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Garlic
- Sheet Pan Miso Pork Chiops
- Spicy Miso Eggplant
Making it Ahead and Storage
You can make this miso rice recipe up to about three days ahead. Be sure it's stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in the microwave, the oven, or in a sauté pan.
I hope you love this easy rice side dish!
Miso Fried Rice Recipe
- 2 tablespoons white or light miso paste
- 1½ tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon Furikake
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari
- 1½ teaspoons chili paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger pulp
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 cups cooked rice (ideally Jasmine)
- approx. 3 tablespoons neutral oil (grapeseed or vegetable)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, washed and dried
- Make the sauce. In a large bowl (big enough to hold all of the rice), whisk the miso paste with the mirin, soy sauce, chili paste, Furikake, garlic, ginger and sugar.
- Mix and Sauté. Add the cooked rice to the bowl and mix until it's evenly coated with the miso mixture. - Place a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with the oil. Once it's hot, add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it's very aromatic and some of the rice in golden.
- Mix in the cilantro and serve!