These miso recipes feature all the best ways to use this flavor-packed paste! It makes kitchen magic in stir fries, ramen, and even…pesto.
Got miso paste and want to use it? Miso is a kitchen magic trick: it makes everything it touches irresistible. It’s a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s known for its intense savory flavor, otherwise known as umami: the fifth flavor. There are many different types of miso: and they all taste different! Yellow miso, white miso, red miso, dark or brown miso offer lots of variation in flavor.
Here are all the best miso recipes for using this magical ingredient! It’s often used in Japanese-style recipes like miso salmon and miso ramen, but you can think outside the box too. You can even use it to mimic a cheesy or meaty flavor in vegan recipes, like our favorite vegan basil pesto! There’s almost nothing that miso doesn’t make a little better.
Here’s an impressive miso recipe that’s packed with umami and fantastically irresistible: miso salmon! Miso makes magic in the kitchen: it adds incredible savory flavor to everything it touches. Here it features in a miso glaze that’s so full of flavor, you’ll want to brush a glossy swipe onto just about everything. One of the ultimate ways to use it? On a tender fillet of salmon.
Here’s a dressing that’s packed with flavor and seriously simple to whisk up: this tasty Miso Dressing! 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 like this Simple Salmon Bowl.
Want a sauce that’s full of irresistible flavor? Try our go-to Miso Glaze! This umami-packed glaze is perfect for fish, meat, tofu or vegetables. It’s so packed with savory, tangy and salty flavor that it makes you immediately want to take another bite. We often use it on salmon, but it's also perfect on pan fried cod (also delicious). Even better: it takes just 5 minutes to whip up.
Here’s a flavor-packed miso recipe you can make in no time: miso ramen! Authentic ramen from a Japanese restaurant is the absolute best. But the next best thing? Making it homemade. Miso paste brings big flavor in a short cook time: just 30 minutes! The broth is so savory, also flavored with soy sauce, mirin, and a little coconut milk to make it creamy. Top with a soft boiled egg and you’ve got comfort food to the max.
Here’s another favorite miso recipe: miso is perfect in stir fries! Fry cauliflower until lightly charred and tender, then add bell peppers and a punchy stir fry sauce flavored with miso. It’s the best way to make eating your veggies irresistible! Try it as a healthy side dish or an easy plant based dinner (with the protein adders in the recipe).
Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of miso, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner!
Want to make a killer stir fry? Here’s your Go-To Stir Fry Sauce! This one has a fantastic blend of flavors that’s savory, tangy and sweet, and it has just the right silky texture when you add it to the pan. Of course it stars miso paste to give it lots of complexity and umami. All you need is 6 ingredients (plus water), so this sauce is ultra simple to whip up.
Want to fall in love with tofu? This healthy vegan protein is great for incorporating into your meal prep repertoire. Come taste this tofu stir fry. It’s got the most flavor-packed stir fry sauce with miso (above) that works with any veggie, and the tofu is crisped on the outside and perfectly seasoned.
This one wins easy side dish hit of the summer: grilled bok choy! This tasty veggie is a type of Chinese cabbage, with a satisfying crunch and a peppery kick. Tossed on the grill with a quick soy miso sauce, it comes out lightly smoky, sweet, and perfectly seasoned. In the winter, you can use a grill pan to make the same recipe. It’s easy and comes out impressive, the perfect side for grilled salmon or tofu.
Here's an unexpected miso recipe: shepherd's pie! This vegetarian shepherd’s pie absolutely worth the effort to end up with a cozy, creamy Parmesan mashed potato topping over the most savory and delicious lentils. The trick to the lentils? Miso! It adds a meaty, savory flavor and makes them seriously satisfying.
Here's a fun trick: you can use light miso (white miso) is used to achieve a complexity of flavor in pesto that mimics the traditional Parmesan! Of course, miso is a Japanese ingredient, not an Italian one, but it works remarkably well. It makes for a classic basil pesto that's totally dairy free and vegan: and delicious.
More ways to use miso
Didn’t find what you were looking for in these miso recipes? Here are a few more ways you can use miso paste in your cooking:
Optional garnish: Sliced green onions, sesame seeds
Let salmon rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the miso glaze: Whisk the miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Sriracha and kosher salt together in a small bowl until smooth (the miso may have a few lumps depending on its texture, which is okay).
Preheat the broiler to high. Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and brush it with olive oil. Pat each piece of salmon dry and place it on the foil skin side down. Brush salmon liberally with the glaze (1 to 2 tablespoons).
Broil about 4 to 5 minutes for very thin salmon or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130F in the center). Brush with more of the glaze and serve.
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.