20 Best Recipes That Start with Miso Paste
Miso is a fermented paste made with soybeans and rice or barley that's known for its umami flavor, the so-called fifth taste. Besides being a mighty flavor agent in Japanese cuisine, miso paste is also a nutritional powerhouse of probiotics and antioxidants. That's a lot of goodness concentrated in one little dollop of miso. Fermented soybean paste has been a staple of Japanese cuisine dating back to 14,000 B.C., but it's enjoying a resurgence of popularity as adventurous cooks come up with new ways to use it. Give these miso paste recipes a try and see what a concentrated hit of nutty, sweet, salty, umami flavor does to all kinds of food.
Miso Maple-Glazed Salmon
This recipe from recipe creator Chef John combines just a few ingredients but packs a punch. Salty and rich miso combines with sweet maple syrup, spicy hot chili sauce, and tangy rice vinegar to make an easy glaze for salmon. Recipe reviewer Charlotte suggests grilling the salmon on a cedar plank. Tip: You can do this in the oven, but it's super-good on the grill, too.
Miso-Glazed Skirt Steak
Skirt steak gets marinated for 30 minutes before heading onto the grill. Pungent garlic, black pepper, and cayenne pepper add zing to the sweet, salty and sour combination of miso, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar. Recipe reviewer Dawn42081 raves, "Few ingredients, easy prep, love it and will do again!" Try this marinade on pork, chicken, and tofu, too.
Asian Salmon Cakes
Salmon cakes are a great reason to keep cans of salmon in your pantry. The miso infused sauce with heavy cream, sake, and lime juice takes this recipe from everyday to extraordinary. Use any miso paste you like, keeping in mind that yellow will be sweeter and brown or red will be saltier. This creamy, citrusy sauce would go great with fish tacos, too.
Japanese Wafu Burgers
A Japanese version of the hamburger, the Japanese Wafu Burger is eaten without a bun and is related to meatloaf. Shiitake mushrooms and tofu add moisture and enhance the texture. Recipe creator Mairko Eats recommends serving the burgers with cooked daikon radish and rice. Tip: Drop a hit of miso in your regular burger or meatloaf mix, too.
Shrimp and Soba Noodle Salad
Recipe creator Chantal Rogers was inspired to create this recipe after having a similar version at a restaurant and recommends adjusting the amount of rice vinegar to taste, based on how tart you like it. Sweet orange juice and mirin balance the saltiness of the miso and peanut butter adds richness to the dressing.
Pickled Ginger Asian Pear Coleslaw
Asian pear, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and miso give this coleslaw a unique flavor. Recipe creator Chef John says, "This slaw is best if tossed together no more than an hour or two before service." Recipe reviewer Keeli recommends using Napa cabbage, and serves it with sticky sweet spicy Asian type barbecue chicken. You can substitute yogurt for the mayonnaise in this tangy miso-laced salad dressing.
Quick Vegan Gravy
Miso is the secret ingredient for many vegan recipes, adding umami and mouthwatering savory notes. Recipe creator Becky says, "This is great to make biscuits and gravy or for Thanksgiving over mashed potatoes." She recommends using pareve margarine and vegetable broth to keep the recipe completely vegan.
If you love the miso soup that comes with practically every meal at Japanese restaurants, you'll want to check out this recipe and give it a go at home. The kind of miso you use is up to you—white, yellow, brown, or red. Dashi granules can be found in Asian markets. Tip: To get that characteristic bloom of miso in the soup, don't let the broth boil once you add the miso paste.
Miso Sesame Dressing
Try this Asian style salad dressing with miso, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, and sesame oil on a salad with romaine or cabbage. One recipe reviewer used it on salmon tacos and several suggested tripling the recipe and making it in the blender.
Miso-Glazed Black Cod
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa made miso cod famous in his restaurants around the world. Recipe creator Chef John's simplified version calls for fewer ingredients and takes less time to make. The rich black cod beautifully burnished with a caramelized glaze is almost impossible to overcook.
Mac and 'Shews Vegan Mac and Cheese
All-star vegan recipe creator Isa Chandra conjures up a recipe that tastes like mac and cheese but is completely dairy-free. An ingenious blend of cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, miso, and onion powder form a sauce that's cheesy with no cheese!
Miso Honey Dressing
Recipe creator Gibsey 23 raves that this versatile dressing is, "Wonderful on a fresh green salad, sliced tomatoes, or as a marinade for a nice flank steak!" Recipe reviewer Buckwheat Queen also used the dressing as a marinade for chicken breasts. The recipe makes almost two cups so store any excess in the refrigerator.
Roasted White Miso Butter Chicken
Recipe creator Bolshevik says, "The miso gives a delightful umami flavor that really saturates the chicken. The honey gives it a nice crisp and color." It can be prepared in 35 minutes and with only five ingredients it's a great recipe to make ahead for weekday lunches or last-minute suppers.
Recipe creator Mochi Puffs says, "These tender eggplants are delicious as an appetizer or a vegetarian main course." Agave nectar, cranberry and apple juice temper the salty miso in a thick topping for broiled slices of eggplant. A savory vegan dish, you can serve it as a main dish with rice or as a side dish.
Miso Oatmeal Bowl
Inspired by the Japanese custom of eating miso soup for breakfast, recipe creator Nancy Williamson Farrell flavors oatmeal with miso, adds walnuts, spinach, and seaweed, and tops it all with avocado for a savory twist on an American style whole grain-based porridge breakfast.
Not-Your-Dorm-Room Cup of Noodles
Not Your Dorm Room Cup of Noodles is a great name for this soup that's more of a meal than a late-night snack. A rice noodle soup chock full of chicken, bok choy, carrots, and green onions, it's flavored with dashi, miso, ginger, tamari, and several kinds of pepper and finished with an egg.
Quick Sesame Green Beans
If you're looking for a new way to serve green beans, this is it. Miso, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds add pizzazz. Recipe reviewer Crazy 4 Sushi says, "The miso paste gives the sauce some body and helps with coating the beans."
Vegan Cashew Cheese Rolled in Cranberries and Nuts
Looking for a festive vegan appetizer? This is it! Cashews make up the main part of the vegan cheese, which is rolled in walnuts, hazelnuts, cranberries, and rosemary. Recipe creator Rita says it is "Delicious on toast or crackers with raw vegetables."
Miso Honey Chicken
Skip the usual barbecue chicken in favor of this grilled version with miso and honey marinade. Recipe creator Chef John provides helpful details on how to grill using indirect heat to keep the chicken from burning. He uses a foil-wrapped ceramic heat diffuser but says if using a regular grill, just place the coals on one side and chicken on the other.
Miso-Braised Beef with King Mushrooms
This melt-in-your-mouth braised beef and mushrooms dish is cold weather comfort food at its finest. Miso adds an extra savory element, balanced with a touch of maple syrup, which further enhances the autumnal feel. Chef John explains his inspiration: "As much as I love a traditional beef stew, or braised beef short ribs, I like to shake things up sometimes by applying the same techniques to a few non-traditional ingredients."
Types of Miso
What is white miso paste? What is yellow miso paste? The difference between white miso paste and yellow or red miso paste is the grain that is fermented along with the soybeans. White miso paste is fermented with rice. Yellow miso paste and red miso paste are fermented with barley and sometimes a small amount of rice. White miso is lighter in both color and taste.