Everything You Wanted to Know about Miso and 11 Creative Ways to Use It
Miso is a product made from fermented soybeans. It is one of the most incredible Asian ingredients and I use it as often as I can, in anything from soup to dressings to dessert. It tastes kind of sweet, kind of salty, and it gives umami (a particular depth and intrigue) to anything you put it into.
I love seeing how people react to it in the dishes I serve them. (It’s usually, "Wow! What IS that, I can’t place it but it's so good!")
If you're new to miso, you might be wondering which kind to get and what to do with it. Even if you have had it before, lots of people only know how to use it for ramen and miso soup. But there are so many more unique ways to enjoy it.
Miso comes in different intensities. In general, the rule of thumb is the darker you go, the more intense the flavor is.
What kind of miso should you start with if you're not sure what to get?
In general, I recommend beginners to start with white miso or Shiro miso as it's called. More and more kosher groceries are carrying miso now. One of my favorites is from the Eden brand, which you can also order on Amazon.
What Are Some Recipes I Can Make With Miso?
Here are 11 awesome recipe combos I use miso for.
- Miso+ butter+ sugar= this makes a crazy popcorn topping!
- Vegetarian and Vegan tip alert: Miso and soy sauce is a great fish sauce substitute for any fleishig (meat) recipe calling for fish sauce.
- Dressing recipe: 1 tsp miso + 2 tbsp. oil + 1 tbsp. rice vinegar for an awesome dressing.
- Mix miso with caramelized onions and add them to burgers, or on top of roast chicken.
- Make a marinade! Mix miso + vinegar + honey = super umami marinade. Great on chicken, tofu, and anything else you'd marinade.
- Put it on your fish. Miso + sesame oil= will seriously up your fish game.
- Add to mashed potatoes for crazy flavor.
- Best miso topping ever: miso + tahini+ maple syrup + rice vinegar + water till smooth= deliciousness on any everything!!
- Sounds surprising, but trust me on this one- Add to ice cream with some cookie bits and caramel ribbons.
- Now here's a recipe you can try with miso if you want to really go next level. This is my Miso Toffee Bark!
It's a super delicious dessert, snack, or as an edible gift that's a little different and creative.
Christina Tosi, the genius behind Milk Bar (a non-kosher dessert café and a very amazing cookbook) used miso to create a butterscotch. She basically burnt the miso, giving it a rich nutty flavor, and mixed it with a basic butterscotch to create like a sweet and deep kind of salty taste. It was genius.
I’ve used the same concept here to create a toffee bark that is incredible! I’ve also given you the option of adding a miso-toasted nut on top of your toffee instead of regular old nuts, which in my opinion takes it over the top.
You can keep this in your fridge for two weeks. And guess what, it only gets better over time. I think that is a huge win.
(If you want to save the recipe to your favorites, click here to get the separate recipe page.)
Miso Toffee Bark by Shushy Turin (@cookinginheelss)
- 1/4 c. miso
- 3/4 sugar
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. butter
- 1/2 tsp Gefen Vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp. mirin
- 10 oz. Gefen Chocolate Chips
- chopped cashews or miso-glazed mixed nuts (recipe below)
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Spread the miso out in an even layer, about 1/4-inch-thick, on the lined baking sheet. Bake until the miso is well browned and quite a bit burnt around the edges, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. Then crumble into small pieces and set aside until ready to use.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter and sugars. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir consistently.
- While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- When the toffee reaches the correct temperature, add the mirin, salt, and vanilla. Stir to integrate.
- Add the miso and stir until the miso is evenly distributed. Pour the butterscotch over the pan and allow it to cool for up to 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and when they begin to melt, spread them over the toffee layer. Then sprinkle nuts or miso toasted nuts if using.
- Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.
And last but not least, miso recipe #11. You can add these to the miso toffee bark in step 6 of the recipe above.
11. Miso Glazed Mixed Nuts (from fresh.com)
- 1 c. mixed unsalted raw nuts
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil, divided
- 2 tbsp. miso
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil in a small frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add all the nuts. Stir fry until the nuts color slightly (this should take only 4-5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them.
- Drain nuts onto kitchen paper and set aside.
- Wipe clean the frying pan. Heat 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil. Add miso and sugar and mix well. As soon as the sugar is dissolved and miso mixture becomes shiny return the nuts to the pan. Mix thoroughly and then immediately take the pan off the heat.
- Let the nuts cool to room temperature and chop before sprinkling over the toffee
You can get even more of our miso recipes by clicking here!
Read Shushy's article about authentic Kosher ramen here.
This article has been updated and improved. Originally published Jan 18, 2017