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This fresh and simple miso dressing recipe is packed with flavor! Use it as a miso salad dressing or for drizzling fish or bowl meals.

Miso dressing
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Here’s a dressing that’s packed with flavor and seriously simple to whisk up: this tasty Miso Dressing! If there’s one ingredient that makes magic in the kitchen, it’s miso. This fermented soybean paste holds the key to savory, umami flavor in recipes of all kinds, from salmon to vegan pesto. It’s absolutely perfect for an all-purpose dressing: combine it with soy sauce and orange juice and it’s out of this world good! It works wonders on salads, or drizzled on fish or bowl meals.

Ingredients in miso dressing

This miso salad dressing is so quick and easy, you can probably finish it in the time it takes you to read this article. (Yep!) So if you’re itching to get started, scroll down to the recipe below! Otherwise, here are a few general things to know about this dressing. You’ll need the following pantry and fridge items:

  • Miso: we used yellow; we recommend using yellow or white (see below)
  • Sesame oil: use the standard variety, not toasted
  • White wine or rice vinegar: Either works! Rice vinegar is preferred if you have it
  • Orange juice: Orange juice is key to adding a sweet, citrusy nuance
  • Soy sauce or tamari: We tend towards tamari; here’s why
  • Maple syrup, honey or sugar: A hint of sweetness balances it out
Miso salad dressing

Types of miso

Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor. It’s known for its intense savory flavor, otherwise known as umami: the fifth flavor. Umami is the same flavor that makes meat and cheese taste so satisfying, so sometimes people equate it as meaty.

You can find miso in the international foods aisle near the Japanese ingredients. There are many different types of miso: and they all taste different! Here’s a little breakdown of what we recommend in this miso dressing:

  • White miso (Shiro miso): Fermented less time than darker miso, and has a mild, more delicate flavor and less salt
  • Yellow miso: Another mild variety of miso! It’s fermented a little longer than white miso and has a mild, lightly sweet flavor
  • Red or dark miso: This variety is fermented longer. It has a very strong flavor and can overwhelm the flavors in a dish. We recommend using white or yellow miso here: sometimes they’re labeled as “light miso”.
Miso ginger dressing

Regular sesame oil vs toasted sesame oil

Another thing to know about this miso dressing: use regular sesame oil! Why? Toasted sesame oil has a very strong flavor. It actually wouldn’t be bad here because it adds an interesting toasty flavor, but we intended the miso flavor to shine through. Here’s the difference between these two products:

  • Toasted sesame oil has a strong, nutty flavor: it’s intended for flavoring foods. It usually comes in a small bottle since it’s used in smaller quantities.
  • Sesame oil has a neutral flavor and is used for cooking or salad dressings.

Want a toasty flavor in this miso dressing? We recommend using the toasted sesame oil in a smaller quantity. Use 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil.

Variation: miso ginger dressing

Another variation for this miso salad dressing? Go for a miso ginger dressing! This dressing is incredibly tasty with a little fresh ginger root. Here are a few ways to add it:

  • Stir in ½ teaspoon finely grated ginger root. The salad dressing will be slightly chunky from the grated ginger.
  • Or, blend it with an immersion or small blender to make it creamy! You can blend it to get the ginger fully incorporated. We recommend an immersion or small blender because the quantity is fairly small.
Miso dressing recipe

Ways to use this miso dressing

There are so many ways to use this miso dressing recipe: it’s one of our favorite all-purpose sauces! Here are a few different ideas:

More miso recipes

Love miso? Here are a few more miso recipes we love using this delicious fermented paste:

This miso dressing recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Easy Miso Dressing


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: About ½ cup 1x

Description

This fresh and simple miso dressing is packed with flavor! Use it as a miso salad dressing or as a sauce for drizzling fish or bowl meals. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons white, light, or yellow miso (we used yellow)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (not toasted)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup or honey (or sugar)
  • Optional add in: ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until a creamy dressing forms. Store refrigerated up to 1 month.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: Dressing
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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4 Comments

  1. Peggy Oram says:

    This is delicious! Someone mentioned the texture was pasty; I put it in the mini food processor and blended it up with some hot water. Perfect!






  2. S Peterson says:

    I have made this dressing 3 times. I always add 3 Tbsps. of orange juice (that’s 3 times as much suggested), but otherwise follow the recipe as written. It is a winner in my opinion.






  3. Diane Marie Del Fante says:

    I added 1 less tablespoon of miso and a bit less of the sesame oil. This was kind of like a paste and way too strong. I added mayo to mellow it out and thin it. Still pretty strong flavor. Maybe I will use it on an Asian coleslaw. I will not make it again.






  4. Jenn says:

    Delicious, thank you! We have a tub of white miso that I’ve been trying to find different recipes to use. This was great. The miso we have is definitely saltier than expected so next time I’ll tweak the quantities. But adding this to the rotation!