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.
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
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”.
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 1/2 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.
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:
- Green salad: Whip up a salad with lettuce or green cabbage, carrots, green onion, and sesame seeds.
- Bowl meal: Spoon it onto this Salmon Bowl as a tasty drizzle.
- Broccoli: Add some to Pan Fried Broccoli or Epic Roasted Broccoli
More miso recipes
Love miso? Here are a few more miso recipes we love using this delicious fermented paste:
- Try flavor-popping Miso Salmon
- Opt for a steaming bowl of Miso Ramen with Soft Boiled Egg
- Use this Easy Miso Glaze on any type of fish or meat
- Go for veggie-packed Cauliflower Stir Fry
- Enjoy Quick Soba Noodles
This miso dressing recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
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.
- 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
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (or sugar)
- Optional add in: 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 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
Keywords: Miso dressing, miso salad dressing
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.