Miso Coconut Chicken

Posted March 5, 2014 by Stephanie
miso coconut chicken

miso coconut chicken recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Everyone has their favorite pantry staples and one of mine is coconut milk. I’m not sure why, but a can of coconut milk makes me feel safe. So much so that I have back-up cans, just in case. You may get a strange look from the checkout person with your abundance of cans, but you’ll be the one laughing when you’re at home, looking into the pantry and spying your coconut treasure trove. Coconut milk is seriously versatile – sweet or savory, breakfast or dinner, it can handle it all. I especially love it in stews or braises.

miso coconut chicken recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

What’s even tastier is when you pair coconut with miso. Miso is definitely another one of my pantry staples and my miso of choice is shiro, or white. It’s a bit milder than the other varieties you can get (yellow or red), but it adds a lot of earthy, mellow flavor to any soups, stews, or braises.

miso coconut chicken recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

My first intro to miso, like most people I know, was that standard watered-down complimentary bowl of soup  you get from a subpar Japanese restaurant. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed with the flavour. When I did have a REAL bowl of miso soup however, I was blown away. Miso is subtle, salty, and incredibly addictive. I’ve been known to spread it on toast, mix it into dressing and have it with eggs and asparagus. This post started out as a ode to coconut milk, but I think miso is quickly taking over! How about you guys? What are your pantry/fridge staples?

miso coconut chicken recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Oh, by the way, this miso coconut chicken stew is best eaten with lots of white rice — I prefer Japanese koshihikari. White rice might not be the healthiest, but really, it should be your only go-to for soaking up this saucy, creamy, coconuty deliciousness.

Miso Coconut Chicken
serves 3 to 4

  • 4-6 skin on boneless chicken thighs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons miso paste, depending on miso salt level
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk*
  • sliced green onions, to garnish
  • crushed red peppers, optional
  • rice, quinoa, greens, bread or your favorite starch, to serve

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a bit of oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high until hot and shimmery. Add the chicken to the pan skin side down. Brown deeply, 5-6 minutes and then transfer to a plate.

Turn the heat to medium and if there is a lot of fat that has rendered out, remove it until you have about a tablespoon of oil left. Add the onion, ginger and garlic to the pot and cook until slightly soft, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the water and miso, being sure to scrape up all the brown bits. When the brown bits are dissolved and the miso is smooth, add the coconut milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, add the chicken and cover. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and can be easily pulled apart with a fork, about 30-40 minutes.

Taste, season with salt and pepper if needed and enjoy with green onions and crushed red peppers (if using).

Note: If you want to make this recipe cook up even more quickly, just cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Not only will they cook faster, but when it’s time to eat, everything is already bite-sized, which means the trip from your bowl to your mouth is that much more quick! If you do opt to go the bite-size route, reduce the simmering time down to 20 minutes.

*Make sure you’re using coconut milk and not cream.

miso coconut chicken recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com


  1. molly yeh says:

    hello, my new favorite combo! miso and coconut for the win!

    1. steph says:

      I’m into coconut EVERYTHING right now! :D

  2. Stephanie says:

    I am an addict to coconut milk as well! I love, love, love, adding it to stews and braises– I made Melissa Clark’s coconut braised short ribs and holy crap are they delicious. White rice is for sure the only choice for soaking up delicious sauce. Sure, not the healthiest but all in moderation amiright? ;)

    1. steph says:

      White rice for the win!

  3. Willow says:

    Is there something that can be substituted in place of mushrooms?

    1. steph says:

      You could definitely omit the mushrooms or add in a vegetable. I think eggplant or zucchini would be quite nice!

  4. cynthia says:

    Ho my gosh. Miso and coconut sound like a match made in heaven. Can’t wait to try this!

    1. steph says:

      Ooh, I hope you get a chance to! :)

  5. I have a coconut milk-buying problem, too. I also buy multiple cans at once and make sure I have back-up cans just in case. :) For some reason, I am even more worried about running out of coconut milk than about running out of canned tomatoes, or dried lentils… (I don’t think I’d ever let myself run out of rice — since I use it too often — or miso, which I probably don’t use often enough!)

    This combination sounds so good! Now I need to try pairing miso & coconut…

  6. I always have some cans of coconut milk too.. just in case! I never know what I could do with miso (apart from soup) so thanks for these ideas!

  7. Bonniw says:

    Stunning pictures and tasty recipe. Love love love this blog!

  8. Ashley says:

    Favorite coconut milk brand? Lovely recipe!

    1. steph says:

      I use Aroy D, just out of nostalgia – it was always in my pantry growing up.

  9. Debbie says:

    Which is your favorite Coconut milk brand? I usually get the CHao one from Thailand, but I’m not liking it these days…

    1. Maylin says:

      Savoy Coconut cream (dark blue can with palm tree illustration) or May Ploy (I think that’s how it’s spelled – I don’t have one in stock to verify spelling).

  10. Jesse says:

    since you’re so coconut obsessed (as am i!), how come you didn’t cook your chicken in coconut oil?
    ps i read this sentence too fast: “i especially love it in stews and braises” and thought you said i especially love in stews and braless. ha!

    1. steph says:

      Ooh, coconut oil would take it over the top!

  11. robert says:

    great ppost Stephanie! One of my fave pantry staples? Okonomiyaki sauce!! Like you were talking about miso’s versatility, you can use it on more than just Okonomiyaki.

    1. steph says:

      Hmm, haven’t played around with okonomiyaki sauce much, but I do love it so I’ll have to give it a go in other dishes :)

  12. Matt says:

    Hi, just wanted to thank you for this; it’s delicious. I’m eating leftovers for lunch today. For what it’s worth, I used rice vinegar instead of water, omitted the mushrooms, and used skinless chicken thighs. I’m going to add red bell peppers next time.

    1. steph says:

      Yum! So glad you liked it!

  13. Joy Bela says:

    I come to this recipe once a day just to look at it. I plan to make it one day….it looks stellar.

  14. Eat with miso soup would be perfect!!

  15. Gord says:

    I’ve made this recipe twice and love it! I’ve used skinless boneless chicken thighs both times and it works wonderfully.

    1. steph says:

      I’m so happy you liked it!

  16. Shutterbug says:

    I love coconut so much, I would make this dish and eat it with coconut rice, instead of plain white rice! ;)

  17. Belby0 says:

    Any chance the oz on the coconut milk is a typo? I cannot find a 16oz can (only 13.5 or 14oz)

    1. steph says:

      Whoops. Yes, most cans are 14 oz. I’m changing it now :) Thanks for the heads up!

  18. Rasa says:

    This looks amazing – I need to try making it immediately!

    I love serving these types of dishes with white sushi rice too, but I always cook it with half water and half coconut milk. I completely understand your need to have coconut milk on hand at all times!

  19. Hatti says:

    Can’t wait to try this. I may use coconut oil to fry the chicken? Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Kate says:

    Would using red miso change this dish a lot? It’s all I can find at my local grocery store.

    1. steph says:

      red miso will be fine, just make sure to start with one tablespoon and taste as you go.

  21. Ayumi says:

    Just made this and it’s my new favourite thing. Ever. So much deliciousness. Thanks!

  22. TvOnTheWeb says:

    Made this dish for dinner and it was delicious.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Made this! It was delicious (especially the mushrooms!), but be careful with the amount of coconut milk–it made me super nauseated. I think it may too much fat in one serving.

  24. Emma says:

    I’ve just recently had the time to sit down and make this recipe and OMG IT’S SO GOOD I’ve made it several times since! My boyfriend loves it – the other day he literally said, “If I had to decide, this would be my last meal on earth.” Thanks for your simple, clear and easy to follow recipes!

  25. Trang says:

    Awesome ! I definitely will make it tonight, I have all the ingredients sitting in the fridge/freezer right now.

  26. Joanne says:

    I made this today, and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  27. Jen says:

    This looks so good! I’m going to try it next weekend!

  28. Nicole says:

    I just made this the other day, and this is absolutely delicious. I made it a little heavier miso than coconut, but this was easy and yummy and something that tasted great the day after :)Thanks for the recipe!

  29. vanina says:

    I already have red miso, do you think I can use that one or should buy white miso instead?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      red miso should be fine, it’ll just have a different miso flavor. start with a bit, and add to taste :)

  30. Allie says:

    I have miso broth but not miso paste, would I be able to use that instead?

    1. Stephanie says:

      i don’t really think it would work. you could try it and reduce the coconut milk but you definitely won’t be able to get that intense miso flavor :(

  31. Christine Vo says:

    Is the browning step necessary for the recipe? Just trying to simplify things when I can! :)

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi christine,
      you can skip it, but i absolutely recommend it – it helps develop flavor :)
      i also like the texture of the skin more after it’s browned then braised, but it’s up to you!

  32. Ridwan says:

    The flavors were fantastic. It was a match made in heaven. Everything just worked so well together. The coconut milk, miso, ginger, black pepper. I replaced the mushroom with eggplant cuts, since i had some in my fridge. It was one of those very flavorful recipes that ill return to. Thank you for the share!

    1. Stephanie says:

      oh yay thank you so much for coming back and commenting :)

  33. Allan says:

    I can’t wait to make this recipe. I love miso. I love coconut milk. I love white rice. But I need a Thai green curry recipe with white miso. Anyone who can help?

    1. Stephanie says:

      you can add a bit of thai green curry to this recipe. maybe do half thai green curry paste and half miso?

  34. Lien says:

    I am looking for a coconut miso braised pork recipe. I will try this but will replace the protein with pork shoulder.

    1. Lien says:

      As an update, it turned out amazing! Thank you for the recipe.

  35. Heather de Paulo says:

    I would like to make this in an instant pot. How long do you recommend I cook it under pressure (whole thighs)?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi, i would do 7-9 minutes high pressure, quick release depending on how big they are. hope that helps!

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