It pretty much goes with anything.

By Sarra Sedghi
Updated April 01, 2019
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Credit: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Blakesee Giles; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

In my opinion, there’s nothing a little fermented flavor can’t amplify. Kombucha? Fantastic. Vinegar? Oh yes. Yogurt? Don’t get me started or I’ll never shut up. There’s always room for a little more depth of flavor, and fermented soybean paste—a.k.a. miso—can add impressive complexity to all kinds of foods. Miso is inexpensive, easy, and accessible, the ultimate answer to a fatigued palate.

You probably met miso in broth, or in context of a glaze or marinade. And while soups, noodle bowls, and various meats are some of miso’s best partners, there are so many possibilities you can squeeze out of a tub of miso. Miso can amplify a fundamental cooking element, like salt, or add a hint of umami flavor to all kinds of snacks and desserts.

Watch: How to Make Miso-Sesame Skillet Blondies

First, though, a quick lesson: miso comes in three different colors, which each possessing a different flavor intensity. White miso, the mildest, has the shortest fermentation period and is probably the miso your recipe calls for. Yellow miso’s fermentation period is a little longer, so its flavor is more pronounced. Finally, red miso, with the longest fermentation period, has the most intense flavor. If you want to replace white miso with yellow or red, go for it. Those varieties may just become your new favorite flavor. Now, here are a few ideas for making the most of your miso.

Mix it into homemade caramel sauce.

Put it in your bloody mary.

Add some warmth to banana bread.

Infuse braised veggies, like mustard greens.

Transform a classic, savory dish, like Chicken Piccata.

Boil it into your bisque.

Make comforting noodle soup with it.

Mix it with maple syrup and butter and add pizzazz to your pancakes.

Pair it with caramel apples in this pie.

Combine it with red pepper jelly and slather it on chicken wings.

Use it as a replacement (or enhancement) for salt.

Give roasted chicken an entirely new flavor.

Add it to a whole-grain stuffing.

Pour it over green beans.

Make Tahini Miso Cream and change your toast forever.

Stir white miso into blondie batter.

Coat popcorn with it.

Marinate sliced cucumbers in it.

Or, marinate your steak in it.

Turn it into ranch dressing or dip.

Stir it into mayonnaise and slather it on a burger.

Or, mix it into your burger.

Combine it with yogurt for a healthier mayonnaise substitute.

Give roasted cauliflower some extra depth.

Put a tasty twist on deviled eggs.

Add depth to vegetarian chili.

Glaze salmon or fresh vegetables with it.

Pack a surprise into white chocolate scones.

Lend its flavor to vegan pesto.

Transform your scrambled eggs.

Work it into your pasta sauce.

Mix it into cream cheese.

Add savory depth to your pickling brine.

Incorporate it into vinaigrette.