Our Best Miso Recipes
There's something about miso that just screams comfort. That rich umami character adds complexity to a number of dishes ranging from soups and noodles to meats like steak and salmon and even to desserts like banana bread and blondies. The fermented soybean paste isn't just kind to taste buds; miso aids gut health and digestion and is rich in essential minerals such as vitamins B and K and folic acid.
Red Pepper Miso Wings
Skip the cream cheese and pepper jelly appetizer and use the red pepper jelly for something new. These sticky, yet crispy chicken wings take full advantage of the red pepper jelly flavor. The result is a hot, sweet, savory sauce with a vibrant color. Add scallions and fresh basil for an impressive festive-looking dish that is just asking to be taken to a holiday potluck.
Soba Noodle and Pork Casserole
This is not your mom's creamy noodle casserole. After this dish, miso cream sauce will be your new go-to sauce for everything. It only has 3 ingredients, it's perfectly seasoned and creamy, and just thick enough to hold up to a good noodle. The creaminess is complemented by the crunchiness of the peanuts and panko in this casserole and the green onion and cilantro brighten it up. Make this dish gluten-free by replacing the panko with extra peanuts and using gluten-free miso. We think Togarishi-- a Japanese 7-spice blend found at Asian markets-- is worth the buy, but if you cannot find it use Chinese 5-spice.
Miso-Sesame Skillet Blondies
You won’t find a faster, easier dessert that guarantees satisfaction than the classic blondie; however, introducing not-so-classic flavor boosters like saltily-sweet miso and toasty sesame seriously raises this cookie bar’s cool factor. Miso paste is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can be used to enhance both savory and sweet dishes. For this recipe, be sure to grab white miso (as opposed to yellow or red) as this variety—commonly referred to as “sweet” or “mellow” miso—delivers a more subtle flavor than other common types of miso that have been fermented for a longer period of time. Miso delivers a distinct punch of umami-backed sweetness that, when coupled with butter and brown sugar, intensifies the decadence level of a dessert like these blondies as no other ingredient can. Add delicately warming and nutty notes from a dash of sesame oil in the batter plus a toasty topping of sesame seeds (which provide for both a delightful crunch and an eye-catching aesthetic), and you’ve got one wow-worthy treat. We opted for a blend of white and black sesame seeds to create a fun visual, but feel free to stick with one or the other if you only have one type on hand. If you would prefer, these blondies can also be prepared in an 8-x8-inch metal baking pan instead of a cast-iron skillet—you may simply need to adjust your bake time slightly. Serve warm wedges with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and we guarantee, you’ll never question whether or not blondies have more fun again.
Rich in nutrients and taste, Miso-Vegetable Soup is a good choice for lunch or a light supper.
Miso-Ginger Noodle Bowls
Think of this comforting soup as a cross between ramen and miso soup. The broth gets instant depth from the bacon drippings in the pan, as well as the miso paste and shiitake mushrooms. You’ll find white miso paste at most supermarkets, either in the refrigerated soy product section or on the international foods aisle. Use it to enrich broths, marinades, or salad dressings, keeping in mind that a little goes a long way. Give the eggs a quick rinse in their shells since they’ll simmer directly in the broth.
Miso-Braised Mustard Greens
Looking for a healthy alternative to collards? Look no further. Mustard Greens offer a similar taste, but with an Asian flair from the umami-rich miso.
Miso Banana Bread with Yuzu Glaze
Garlic-Miso Pork Noodle Bowl
Pick up unpasteurized miso—fermented soybean paste—for the best probiotic boost. Look for it near the refrigerated tofu products at your grocery store.
A sweet-salty miso, brown sugar, and soy sauce glaze caramelizes in about 10 minutes as it cooks atop rich, meaty salmon.
How to Make Vegan Miso Soup
If you live in the United States, you’re probably used to slurping miso soup at lunch or dinner, but this brothy soup is actually killer in the morning. Though miso soup is traditionally made with dashi, a salty broth of dried kelp and bonito flakes, this recipe is totally vegan. To achieve a similar umami flavor, this miso soup broth is made with wakame, a savory dried kelp. Wakame is available for purchase online and in the Asian ingredients section of many grocery stores, but even if you can't find it, your miso broth will still taste great.
The best part about miso soup is that you can really toss in any vegetables you have on hand: mushrooms, carrots, snow peas, leafy greens—anything goes. Add cubed tofu for some plant protein and you’re good to go.
Vegan Miso Soup
Oatmeal-Raisin Skillet Cookie with Miso-Caramel Sauce
This sweet-meets-salty oatmeal cookie is chewy in the middle with a crispy bottom and edges. In other words, it’s irresistible. The browned butter adds depth, and the salted caramel sauce has a little bit of tang thanks to the fermented miso. Substitute any dried fruit for the raisins, and serve with frozen yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream. Keep any leftovers in the skillet and simply cover it.
Radishes require little embellishment at the peak of their season. The mild peppery bite of this humble root veggie is the perfect complement to a buttery miso glaze.
Sorghum with Mushroom and Miso
This flavorful, savory bowl gets a ton of umami thanks to the miso and mushrooms, and the leftover sorghum cooking liquid and butter give this dish a nice creaminess. Technically a seed, sorghum is a nutrition powerhouse, boasting more protein and fiber per serving than other whole grains like barley and brown rice. It’s also brimming with other essential nutrients, such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Choose whole-grain sorghum for the most nutrition; pearled sorghum cooks up more tender.
Miso Deviled Eggs
This fun twist on deviled eggs is a nice change-of-pace dish for your next picnic or cookout. With just a hint of tang and spice, you could probably even trick your non-foodie friends into eating one. For this super simple dish, try to use older eggs—they will peel more easily. Look for togarashi in the same place you buy miso.
Brown Rice Bowl with Miso, Poached Egg, and Kale-Radish Slaw
Nutrient-rich kale has a mild flavor and becomes tender very quickly, making it a snap to add to speedy meals like this one.
Japanese Turnips with Maple-Miso Butter
Mona Johnson, co-owner of Tournant catering in Portland, Oregon, created this dish for a Thanksgiving dinner. She cooked mild white Japanese turnips (Tokyo or Hakurei varieties) in white miso and butter for savory richness, and added a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. If you can't find Japanese turnips, use a combination of small radishes and mustard greens--regular turnips are too strong for this delicate dish.
Miso Caramel-Apple Pie
You've no doubt heard of--and enjoyed--salted caramel. Miso caramel takes that concept one step further, offering depth and richness that's unparalleled. Even though this pie is rather decadent, it still comes in with 12g less sugar than a popular online version of caramel-apple pie.
Umami Broth with Buckwheat and Vegetables
The richness of the broth comes from miso, onion, ginger, and garlic cooked in sesame oil.
Meltingly Tender Chicken with Miso, Ginger, and Carrots
There is very little hands-on prep here; your oven does most of the work. The combination of flavors is exuberant, and the texture of the chicken is as succulent as can be.
Miso Ranch Dip
Get ready—this dip is about to become your party go-to. It’s quick and easy to make, and you can serve it with any type of vegetable (we particularly like it with carrots, radishes, and cucumbers). Be sure not to puree the chives or pepper, as they will discolor your sauce. Use leftover dip as a spread for pulled pork, hamburgers, or other sandwiches, or thin it out with water or another tablespoon or two of buttermilk to dress lettuces.
Peanut, Shrimp, and Broccoli Rolls
We turned this popular appetizer into a quick, diet-friendly dinner solution for two. It's a fresh, low-calorie alternative to takeout. In place of bottled peanut sauce, you can instead try our Miso-Chili-Garlic Sauce.
Breakfast Pizza Pockets Taste Like Childhood
If you ever heated up a tray of pizza pockets for an after-school snack as a kid, listen up. Breakfast pockets take just a little more time to make, but are even more satisfying because you get to pick the fillings. Pick up a package of pre-made frozen pizza dough (or make your own, if you’re feeling homestead-y), roll it out, and slice it into square—large for bigger pockets, smaller for mini pockets. Fill the dough with eggs, cheese, and meat if you like, bake the pockets, and breakfast is served. Better yet, you could make a batch of breakfast pockets on Sunday night and reheat one before you head to work for the next couple days.
Here we’ve gone for the classic BEC breakfast pocket: scrambled eggs, crumbled cooked bacon, and cheddar. Much as we love tradition, don’t be afraid to get creative here: Try miso scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms and spicy chopped sausage, or scrambled egg whites with spinach, tomatoes, and goat cheese. You’d be hard-pressed to go wrong here.
Breakfast Pizza Pockets
Miso-Ginger Braised Chicken with Bok Choy and Barley
We call for whole-grain hulled, or hull-less, barley here--pearled barley would overcook as the chicken simmers. You can also use unpearled farro or wheat berries.
Cabbage Salad with Miso Vinaigrette
Fresh cabbage is all about crunch; the more texture, the better. Napa cabbage can absorb bold vinaigrettes without losing its crisp bite. Carrots, red onion, and daikon radish add even more crunch to the salad.
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
This sinus-clearing soup is inspired by classic Szechuan beef noodle soup. Because some of the ingredients to make the traditional version require a trip to an Asian market (namely Szechuan peppercorns and chili bean paste), we approximated the flavors with supermarket items. Black pepper and coriander get at the Szechuan peppercorn flavor (but, admittedly, not the tongue-tingling effect), and miso and sambal oelek approximate the flavor of chili bean paste.
Miso-Marinated Black Cod
Created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa in New York more than 20 years ago, this delicate, buttery dish has fans around the world. We've adapted a version from former San Diego fisherman Zack Roach that features green onions and ginger.
Chicken Salad with Miso Dressing
After cooking the chicken, J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Sciene and the Serious Eats online column of the same name, throws corn on the still-hot grill to use in this unusual, delicious salad.
Miso-Glazed Eggplant Steaks
To quote Robin Bashinsky, the mastermind behind this recipe, “This is a dish full of char and vigor.” Savory miso is a natural match for thick eggplant steaks; look for miso in the refrigerated section of your grocery store’s produce department.
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Miso Vinaigrette
Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad
Miso Chicken Piccata
Fennel-Ginger Miso Soup
Notes: Red miso paste is much darker in color and heartier in flavor than the more familiar white variety. Look for it in natural-foods stores; if you can't find it, use all white miso instead. PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes.
Wasabi-Miso Marinated Flank Steak
Although you may need to make a trip to the Asian market to pick up miso and mirin, look for wasabi powder in your supermarket's spice aisle; it's much milder than the kind found in Japanese markets.
Miso-Caramel-Tamari Popcorn Mix
A slightly thicker caramel and the addition of whole roasted almonds turn traditional caramel popcorn into gift-worthy popcorn mix. We use less sugar in the glaze and cut the sweetness with mild white miso (fermented soybean paste) and tamari (a richer, wheat-free soy sauce) for a salty-savory note that makes the snack incredibly addictive.
Miso Soup with Enoki Mushrooms
Look for bonito at Asian food markets or in the ethnic section of the supermarket. It's a traditional ingredient in miso soup, but if you can't find it, it's okay to omit it--just be aware that you'll lose the seafood flavor in the broth.
In this recipe, traditional Italian pesto takes a detour through the continent of Asia, swapping in peanuts for pine nuts, toasted sesame oil for olive oil, and miso and fish sauce for Parmesan.
Pasta with Miso Cream Sauce
This super creamy pasta dish gets nice umami depth from the miso. Cooking the grape tomatoes in a skillet and then stirring in the milk mixture gives the sauce the perfect texture, and the little bit of liquid that comes out of the spinach lightens it up. This recipe is quite flexible: Cavatappi, penne, or any whole-wheat version would work well. You could also substitute with mini mozzarella balls to save a step and time.
Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Think of gochujang as Korean steak sauce, adding savory depth to the chicken. You can find it at many supermarkets, or substitute equal parts Sriracha and white/yellow miso (soybean paste).
Grilled Beef-Tenderloin Skewers with Red-Miso Glaze
Addictively tangy and salty-sweet, these skewers are also delicious when made with chicken breast or pork tenderloin.
Parsnip Ribbons with Miso Vinaigrette
A little sweet, a little salty, a bit of toasty, and a touch of tang--the makings of a grade-A salad