Photo: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Nine delicious ways to use miso in your cooking that don't involve soup

There are so many other ways to use miso, from creamy scrambled eggs and miso caramel to brownies and salads

Written by
Jessica Thompson

So you bought a tub of miso to make your own miso soup, but now it’s sitting sad and lonely at the back of your fridge. The good news is, there’s plenty more you can do with miso.

Typically made from fermented soybeans and koji rice, miso is an incredibly versatile ingredient. The two main kinds are white and red: white miso is slightly sweeter and creamier while red miso is more salty and intense. Packed with umami flavour, miso can supercharge both savoury and sweet dishes. Here are some of our favourite ways to use miso that go way beyond soup. 

Miso butter scrambled eggs  

Butter, miso, eggs, parmesan cheese: what sounds like an unusual combination is actually a match made in heaven. The secret to these eggs is miso buttter, which you can easily make by mixing those two ingredients together until smooth, then freeze it for 10-15 minutes until firm before using it to cook your eggs. Trust us, these scrambled eggs put the ‘ooh’ in umami.

Miso brownies 

Move over salted caramel – miso and chocolate is a sweet-and-salty combination that keeps you coming back for more. Miso not only intensifies the chocolate flavour, it also makes the texture fudgier and, we estimate, makes these brownies about 200 percent more addictive.

Miso sesame ginger salad dressing

Give extra life to fresh salads with miso-laced salad dressings, where the paste adds a smoother texture and a nutty accent. Like regular salad dressings, a miso salad dressing is super simple to make and can be whipped up in a matter of moments. Just add all the ingredients in a jar, give it a shake and it’s ready to go. Make a big batch and keep in the fridge to jazz up your meals all week long.

Miso mac and cheese

Adding miso to mac and cheese makes the whole mix cheesier (in a good way), with the salty, umami qualities of both working together in delicious harmony. The beauty of this ultimate kitchen hack is you can easily add miso to your go-to mac and cheese recipe – just whisk a couple of tablespoons into the bechamel mixture and proceed as usual.

Miso marinade

Change up your barbecue ribs or teriyaki salmon with a miso-based marinade. Miso mixed with sake, mirin and sugar is a popular marinade for fish in Japan, creating a caramelised and delightfully sticky crust when cooked. Or for something more Southern-style, mix miso with a little honey, ginger and sesame oil for a simple but outrageously flavourful beef ribs marinade.

Miso caramel sauce

Just four ingredients is all it takes to create your new favourite caramel sauce. Simmer sugar and water, add a splash of cream and whisk in some miso. Spoon it over ice cream, cakes and pancakes, or use it in savoury dishes as a glaze for pork or fish.

Photo: Pixzolo Photography/Unsplash

Miso and cheese toastie

Whatever your preferred form of cheese toastie – just cheese, or with some pickles and caramelised onions – miso will amplify the cheesy quality and leave you wondering how so much flavour could be sandwiched between two pieces of bread.

Miso mushroom pasta 

Miso is a great addition to cream and butter-based pasta sauces, but when it comes to mushroom pasta, miso is almost essential. Miso and mushrooms are old umami friends, both adding a meatiness to dishes without any actual meat, making the combination a great option for vegetarians. Use whatever kind of pasta you like – long, short, thick, thin, regular wheat flour, spelt flour – you could even try soba noodles. 

Photo: Eaters Collective/Unsplash

Miso pesto 

Pesto is typically a combination of herbs, nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil. To make this pesto suitable for vegans, or budget-conscious cooks, just replace the parmesan with a teaspoon or two of miso paste. The miso brings a similar savoury, salty quality that the cheese usually gives you.

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