Miso: The Umami Ingredient Everyone's Talking About

From marinades to butters, discover how you can use miso in unexpected and creative ways.

Looking to add a new flavor profile that's both interesting and trendy to your cooking? You should be seeking out something with umami—a funky, savory sensation that isn’t exactly a flavor, per se, but helps gives heft and body to dishes… and you can get it by adding some miso to your pantry.

This classic Japanese condiment, usually made from fermented soybeans, is most commonly found as a paste, in either red, white, or black varieties (all of which have their own distinct flavor). Taste them to discover which you prefer — the white is sweeter and more mellow, while the red is the saltiest and has the most pungent flavor — then try them in these unexpected and creative ways. That miso soup you get at sushi restaurants doesn't even begin to touch the myriad of ways miso can enhance your food, be it in vinaigrettes, marinades, spice rubs and beyond. And because it's a paste, miso is perfect for grilling season, as the smoky heat of flames or charcoal only enhance its flavors.

Marinade & Glaze

Made popular by Nobu’s famous miso black cod, this miso marinade is an easy way to add this ingredient into your repertoire. Cook meats like pork, beef, and lamb, or vegetables like eggplant or squash, in a miso glaze, a mixture of the paste and anything from fruit purees to mirin and sake. For an extra kick, try coating chicken wings, baked in our Electrolux Convection with WaveTouch Control, with miso, honey, and hot sauce.


Combine the earthy taste of miso with sesame oil, rice vinegar, chilies, and chopped herbs like Thai basil and cilantro for a dressing that is perfect for salads, pasta, and crispy vegetables. For dressings and vinaigrettes, white miso will likely be your go-to thanks to its subtle flavor.

Miso Butter

Combine 1/3 parts miso paste with 2/3 parts softened, unsalted butter to create this delicious pantry staple. Spread it on sandwiches, use it to top baked potatoes and steaks, and fold it into pasta for a nice kick of savory flavor. Like all compound butters, you can freeze your miso butter and cut off knobs as you need it to cook with or top a steak with.

Sweet Miso

The heft of miso doesn’t only have to be used with savory dishes. Miso pairs well with fall fruits like apples and pears, so spoon that miso butter onto a crumble for a decadent twist, or use it to make roasted fruit compotes. The flavor also works well with chocolate, so try adding miso and sesame to your fudge recipe for a fun update. If you really want to make friends while also making the most of your miso, bake a batch of Miso Butterscotch Bars that perfectly suit the ingredient's savory profile.

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