Whether your miso stash is red, white, or other, you can add it to everything from sauces to desserts for a salty-savoury (umami) kick.
5 Mar 2018 - 6:58 AM  UPDATED 18 Mar 2021 - 1:50 PM

1. Chicken, ginger and miso patties with a sticky ponzu glaze (tsukune)

These are made like chicken meatballs, by mixing together minced chicken and a bunch of aromatics, but include a few scoops of red miso for a deliciously meaty depth. Serve as an appetizer, or part of a larger Japanese meal

2. Sapporo ramen

What sets Sapporo ramen apart from its ramen brethren is the combination of butter, miso and fresh corn. Sweet, salty, creamy, and deeply warming - just what you need in a city that averages around 5m of snow a year!

3. Miso and brown sugar ice-cream with dried peach compote

Miso and brown sugar are a match made in dessert heaven, a yin and yang of salty and sweet that come together in caramelly harmony. 

4. Miso-roasted eggplant

This dish is known "nasu dengaku" ("deep-fried miso eggplant") in Japanese, but this version is adapted for larger, European style eggplant. Instead of being deep-fried, the eggplant is chopped and roasted, mixed with a miso-based dressing, then roasted a little further to deepen the flavours and so everything browns and melts together. Warning: addictive. 

Miso and eggplant are a fantastic combo.

5. Miso raisin brownies

We know that you don’t need to mess with a brownie, but if you’re going to, we recommend doing it with miso and raisins - miso really makes the chocolate flavour pop, and raisins add surprising little bursts of fruity sweetness. 

6. Miso-grilled salmon with soba noodles

This dish delivers a double-miso hit: first, the salmon is marinated in a white miso-based marinade (similar to traditional saikyo-yaki of the Kyoto area), and the freshly boiled soba noodles are mixed through a sweet and tangy miso dressing. Some freshly steamed green beans or bok choy, or fresh mizuna would balance the meal nicely. 

7. Miso butterscotch sundae

Like regular butterscotch sauce, but butterscotchier and saucier.

8. Miso salmon and eggplant skewers

The marinade is a combination of white miso paste, miso, tamari, ginger and melted coconut oil. While not a traditional Japanese ingredient, it adds a nutty and creamy element that balances the salty miso. 

9. Eggplant and miso dip

If you’re a fan of creamy baba ganoush, try this Japanese-style version. The trick is wrapping the eggplant in foil and grilling directly over a flame until blackened all over, which give the eggplant all sorts of new flavour dimensions. That, and the spoonfuls of rich red miso.

10. Wagyu tataki

Because wagyu beef is so rich, it’s popular to serve it tataki-style - flash-fried and finely sliced, to create little morsels of flavour. This one is topped with a creative concoction of rehydrated dried figs, white miso, and a few other surprising ingredients. 

11. Chickpea and carrot salad with miso-tahini dressing

A versatile dressing to have in your repertoire - use it liberally with this chunky, hunky salad and beyond. Whatever miso you have on hand will work - red miso will make it a little stronger and saltier, and white a little creamier. 

12. Pork, sweet potato and miso soup (tonjiru)

Ok so this is a miso soup, but not the straight-up miso soup more commonly encountered as a side dish for Japanese meals. This version is more of a stand-alone meal, and a popular Japanese comfort food, a bit like a Japanese minestrone. What you have when you’re feeling like you need nourishing.

13. Miso chicken

Miso paste is added to the braising liquid for this chicken, along with mushrooms, garlic, chillies, ginger, thyme, lemon zest, nori and chicken stock, and then finished with coconut milk and coriander after roasting. Basically, flavour comes from a lot of angles and meets together to create perfectly balanced magic. 

Miso crazy
Miso barramundi with soba noodles

These noodles borrow some flavours from Japan to give them a salty and sweet umami hit. They're also loaded with greens so you'll benefit from an iron boost, too.

Smoked bonito in a miso glaze
Grilled miso eggplant and haloumi burgers

"So tasty and good, the combination of these flavours makes for stunning vegetarian burgers. Get into pickling vegetables, because they’re not only good for you, they also add a wonderful tang." Peter Kuruvita, Peter Kuruvita's Coastal Kitchen

Garlic embedded in miso (ninniku no misozuke)

At one of the shoots for my preserving book, I poked garlic in miso and subsequently forgot about it. For about one year. When I dug the garlic out, it was sublime. You don’t have to wait one year, though I would suggest trying these every few months. You can keep them in a ginger jar on the counter or in the fridge, whichever works for you. I love miso as a pickling medium because you don’t need to add anything to it and there are enough different types of miso to give you a variety in the pickling process. This miso pickling bed should not be reused for miso soup, but a dab of it in a Western stew could be all the salt you need–just a hint for that hidden taste. This garlic-infused miso is also fantastic dolloped on a hot bowl of rice or smeared on grilled eggplant.

Crayfish miso soup

Making good miso soup is not as simple as it seems. It’s the sort of thing that should be taught in schools, along with other important life skills such as how to boil an egg. Teach them that stuff and our kids will eat well every day of their lives. Teach them Newton’s second law of motion and they may just end up hungry. Our mate Masaaki makes a version of this at our local farmers’ market. If you are ever in Hobart, seek it out: his is the stall with the long line of people queuing for his crayfish miso.