Recipe: Ume miso-sautéed summer vegetables

03 May 2023
Recipe: Ume miso-sautéed summer vegetables

Recipe for Japanese ume miso sauteed summer vegetables from Japan The Vegetarian cookbook

If you do not have ume miso, just use the full-flavored miso of your choice (not white miso). And in that case, perhaps lean more heavily on the sesame.

Miso is a natural match for eggplant (aubergine) and peppers and these miso stir-fries, colloquially "abura miso," are served often in the Japanese countryside during the summer. Courgette, while not a traditional Japanese vegetable, is now grown commonly across the archipelago. When stir-fried, courgette tends to weep, so best to keep the proportion small compared to the more dominant aubergine.

Serves: 4, generously


  • 3 small Japanese aubergines (250g)
  • ½ medium courgette (125g)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (175g)
  • 1tps flaky sea salt
  • 10 slender green beans (25g)
  • 1½tbs lightly roasted gold sesame oil
  • ½tbs fine slivers fresh ginger
  • 5tbs sake
  • 4tbs ume miso (see below)
  • 1 finely chopped miso-pickled ume (from making ume miso below), optional
  • 1tbs gold sesame seeds, warmed in a dry frying pan until fragrant


Slice off the ends of the aubergines and courgette and discard. Halve the aubergine and courgette lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1cm pieces. Soak the aubergine in cold water to keep it from discoloring.

Core and seed the pepper and cut into 2cm irregular pieces.

Bring a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water and the salt to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until their green colour just brightens, 1-3 minutes, depending on thickness. Trim off the stem ends and cut the beans crosswise into 2cm pieces. Set aside.

Drain the aubergine and blot dry. In a large frying pan, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat Add the ginger, stir once to coat with oil, then add the aubergine, courgette and bell pepper. Increase the heat to high, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the remaining ½ tablespoon oil and the sake and toss well. Add the ume miso and miso-pickled ume (if using) and stir-fry to coat evenly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fully softened, 2-3 minutes longer.

Fold in the green beans and sesame seeds and serve hot or at room temperature. Keeps well for 2 or 3 days, if refrigerated.

Ume Miso

Ume Miso is a preparation made by steeping green ume (sour "plum") in brown rice or inaka miso with sugar for 1 month. It can be approximated by folding a little chopped umeboshi (pickled sour "plum") and organic sugar into brown rice or inaka miso before using for a vegetable stir fry.

Recipe from Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Phaidon, £39.95)

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking