Miso and Egg Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Made from egg yolk and Saikyo miso (sweet white miso), tama-miso is used as a topping or basting sauce for grilled foods, and a base for dressings. Tama-miso is prepared in a Japanese mortar, a suribachi, with a wooden pestle, a surikogi. If you do not have these utensils, use a bowl and a sturdy plastic spatula.


Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationkosher, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentmortar and pestle

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesalty, savory, sweet, umami, winey

Type of Dishbarbecue sauce, dressing, sauces


  • 2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
  • 3½ ounces (about 5 tablespoons) Saikyo miso (sweet white miso)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • About 1/3 teaspoon usukuchi shoyu (light-colored soy sauce), preferable, or regular shoyu


  1. In a small cup, mix the sake with 2 tablespoons water. In a suribachi or other mortar, grind the miso, sugar, and egg yolk to a smooth paste. Add the rice wine and water mixture little by little, grinding all the time. Season to taste with shoyu.

    Have at hand a bowl half-filled with cold water and ice cubes. Transfer the sauce to the top of a double-boiler, and cook the sauce over simmering water, stirring constantly and thoroughly so you do not scramble the egg, until the sauce becomes thicker, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set the bowl of sauce in the bowl of cold water and ice cubes to cool. Tama-miso may be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for three days. Heat the sauce through before using it.


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