Miso Recipes That Go Beyond Soup

Vegan miso salad dressing

The Spruce

Miso is an ancient Japanese ingredient with various nutritional qualities, a bold flavor, and many uses in the kitchen. Packed with minerals, vitamins, and folic acid, miso is a fermented food, helpful in keeping the health of your gut microbiome.

Known in the West as the main ingredient in miso soups and other Japanese-inspired preparations, miso can be used in multiple types of dishes, from sweet to savory, from salad dressings to marinades, sauces, and soups. Its umami flavor and earthy tones pair wonderfully with meats, seafood, bitter vegetables, and citrus, but its beauty lies in that it imparts a powerful personality to all dishes in which it appears. Red or white, intense or mild, miso should be a staple in all pantries as it can transform a dish from very simple to complex when used wisely.

Miso might just become your new secret ingredient. Our recipes are a starting point for you to experiment and discover this ancient ingredient. These dishes go beyond the humble, but delicious miso soup, and will open up a world of possibilities for cooking with this flavorsome ingredient.

  • 01 of 14

    Pan Fried Miso Eggplant

    Miso Glazed Eggplant and Rice

     

    Annabelle Breakey / Getty Images

    Miso and eggplant make for lovely companions. The rich savory and tones of the miso are beautiful complements to the sweetness and softness of the eggplant. The eggplant in this recipe takes on an almost buttery texture, perfect for absorbing a flavorful miso glaze. Touches of mirin and sugar in the glaze help caramelize the eggplant. This is a wonderful side to meats and fishes, but also a great vegetarian main when served over rice or quinoa.

  • 02 of 14

    Carrot, Cabbage, and Kohlrabi Slaw with Miso Dressing

    Carrot, Cabbage and Kohlrabi Slaw with Miso Dressing
    Katie Workman / themom100.com

    If you are fond of creamy slaws to accompany grilled meats or smoked ribs, this recipe for a fresh and crunchy cabbage-and-carrot slaw with miso dressing might be a great innovative alternative to the classic veggie and mayonnaise preparation. Our miso, carrot, and kohlrabi slaw has a crunchy texture and it's a great side to all sorts of meats and fishes. Use it in wraps and tacos, or simply as a creative side salad to any dinner. If you’re new to kohlrabi, this recipe will surely set a great first impression.

  • 03 of 14

    Mochi Soup Recipe

    Saikyo Miso Ozoni (White Miso Mochi Soup for New Years)

    Imagenvi / Getty Images

    A warming classic Japanese recipe, our mochi and miso soup is an ancient preparation that uses white miso—which has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor—as a base to build up the flavor, alongside mochi, a soft rice cake that functions as a sponge for the delicious broth. By adding Japanese vegetables to the mix, or kamaboko, a family of Japanese fish cakes, the soup can go from a light meal to a complete and filling dish.

  • 04 of 14

    Miso Salad Dressing

    Vegan miso salad dressing

    The Spruce

    A miso salad dressing highlights one of the best and easiest ways to use miso paste. Our simple recipe makes a slightly sweet and savory mixture that goes well over raw or cooked vegetables, from crunchy fresh endives to sautéed mushrooms. Experiment with various types of miso to come up with your favorite combination, from the deep flavor of red miso or the sweeter and milder white miso. Use the sauce as a dip for crackling calamari, a spread for sandwiches or wraps stuffed with tangy cheeses, or as a final touch to simple grilled chicken or white fish.

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  • 05 of 14

    Grilled Miso Salmon

    Miso Salmon

    Nadine Greeff / Stocksy

    A firm salmon fillet is a filling, nutritious, and wonderful meal that comes together in minutes. Pair the sweet and oily salmon taste with the unique miso flavor, and you'll be surprised at the harmonious combination. Slightly sweet from the brown sugar, tangy from fresh ginger, and pungent thanks to some fresh garlic, the flavorful miso marinade tops our grilled miso salmon. Grill for a few minutes, and enjoy.

  • 06 of 14

    Miso Ramen

    Miso Ramen Japanese Soup

    The Spruce

    Ramen has taken over the world and is here to stay. This absolutely lovable Japanese dish has as many versions as there are cooks, and each one is better than the next. Although the instant version is popular in the west, there is no comparison with an authentic bowl of Japanese miso ramen—worth the extra effort. A complex broth, melding meaty bouillon and savory miso paste, creates a beautiful base for its additional ingredients. In ramen, anything goes. Julienne vegetables, chewy noodles, and a soft boiled egg make this soup an incomparably comforting meal.

  • 07 of 14

    Baked Miso Tofu

    Miso Tofu

    Mizina / Getty Images

    Vegetarians and vegans rejoice! Despite the complexity of its flavor, miso is actually vegan, and often gluten-free if it has been fermented with gluten-free grains. Pair it with the powerful force of protein-packed tofu, and you're in for a filling treat. Try our baked miso tofu as part of the meatless Monday train. Don't miss out on these chewy and juicy cubes of flavor, perfect with a bowl of steamed white rice.

  • 08 of 14

    Chickpeas and Parmesan Lemon Miso Broth

    Lemon Miso Broth with Chickpeas and Parmesan

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

    Miso is a true chameleon, expertly blending into a number of cuisines. Lemon miso broth with chickpeas and parmesan showcases the filling nature of nutritious chickpeas, alongside the tangy flavor of fresh lemons and mouth-watering Parmesan cheese. The salty, savory taste of white miso and parmesan is balanced beautifully by fresh herbs used as a garnish, which make this dish a complete and balanced soup, ideal as a light dinner or appetizer.

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  • 09 of 14

    Miso and Honey Glazed Pork

    Miso and Honey Glazed Pork

    MIXA / Getty Images

    The rich flavor and texture of pork is the perfect base for this sweet and thick sauce of savory miso and sweet honey. Combined with other classic miso pairings like ginger and sesame oil, our miso and honey glazed pork results in juicy thin strips of pork, meant to be wrapped in fresh lettuce or served with a simple side of rice.  

  • 10 of 14

    Lentil and Quinoa Bowls

    Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Kale

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    These lentil and quinoa bowls have had a miso makeover, making them just a touch different than your standard harvest bowl. What’s more, the basic recipe can be tailored to meet your preferences. If lentils are not your thing, try crumbled tempeh or cannellini beans instead. Use escarole instead of kale, and toss it into the mix. In this bowl, East meets West with the add-ons, like the suggested Hispanic tomato-based sofrito, or perhaps a few yuca chips to add some crunch.

  • 11 of 14

    Miso Marinade

    Different types of miso paste

    Annabelle Breakey / Photolibrary/ Getty Images

    Learning to make your own miso marinade is a worthy endeavor for every home cook. Start with this recipe and go from there, watching the number of delicious ways you can prepare it expand. 

  • 12 of 14

    Miso Nikomi Udon Noodle Soup

    Miso Udon Noodle Soup

    The Spruce

    Rope-like udon noodles hold strong in this soup, complemented by miso and other classic Japanese ingredients. It’s a total home run, so don’t be surprised if you make it a routine recipe. 

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Chocolate Chunk Miso Blondie

    took a bite . . .
    Image by Spruce/Jessie Sheehan.

    Miso, chocolate, and amazement come together in these blondies. This recipe represents the versatility of miso from appetizers to your last sweet bite of dessert.

  • 14 of 14

    Miso Gravy

    Creamy vegetarian miso gravy

    The Spruce

    Our creamy and flavorful vegan miso gravy is as rich and decadent as the classic gravies made with pan drippings and butter. Combine miso with tangy nutritional yeast, the "Parmesan" of vegan cooking, and you've got an amazing and incredibly easy-to-make sauce to go on anything and everything. Think roasted potatoes, steamed rice, baked tempeh, air-fried tofu, roasted vegetables, or biscuits.

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  1. Dimidi E, Cox SR, Rossi M, Whelan K. Fermented foods: definitions and characteristics, impact on the gut microbiota and effects on gastrointestinal health and disease. Nutrients. 2019;11(8). DOI: 10.3390/nu11081806