3 easy miso recipes

Photo of a bowl of miso soup
Mr.TinMD/Creative Commons

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A while ago, I bought a tub of miso paste and wondered how I could possibly use it all before it spoiled. Thankfully, the fermentation of the paste greatly extends its shelf life, allowing me time to get creative and find delicious recipes using miso. You may only be familiar with miso as a soup served at most sushi restaurants, but there’s so much more to it. Miso is a savory Japanese seasoning — usually in the form of a paste — made by fermenting soybeans with salt. Here are my three favorite miso recipes: miso soup, miso salmon and miso ramen. If you’re looking for an easy and delicious meal, look no further!

 

Miso soup

Simple ingredients and easy preparation make miso soup one of my go-to meals, especially on a cold day. This soup will warm you up and pair well with most meals.

Serving size: 3

Ingredients:

  • Instant dashi broth pouch or powder
  • ½ pack silken tofu
  • 1 green onion
  • Optional: Dried seaweed (wakame)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste
  1. Follow the instant dashi instructions and boil 3 cups of dashi stock according to the instructions.
  2. While the broth is boiling, slice the silken tofu into small dice-sized pieces. Chop the green onions. Optionally, rehydrate a small bunch of wakame seaweed by submerging it in a small bowl of water. Set both aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and wait until the broth stops boiling. If using a dashi pouch, carefully take it out and drain the liquid back into the pot.
  4. Using a soup ladle or deep spoon, scoop up some dashi broth and dissolve the miso paste in the ladle. This prevents a grainy textured soup.  Continue incorporating until no more lumps appear, then stir in the mixture with the rest of the broth.
  5. Add in the cut tofu. Optionally, drain and add in the rehydrated seaweed. Continue reheating until just before it reaches a boil. Turn off the heat.
  6. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the chopped green onions.

 

Oven-baked miso salmon

Add a unique spin to cooking salmon with this easy oven-baked miso salmon recipe. Minimal preparation is required, but this salmon will taste like it came out of a restaurant rather than your home kitchen!

Serving size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin sake or other rice cooking wine
  • ½ pound salmon fillet
  1. Combine miso paste, soy sauce, sugar and mirin cooking sake into a small bowl to form the miso sauce. Thoroughly stir the ingredients together until no clumps remain.
  2. Prepare and dry the salmon fillet.
  3. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Lay the salmon on the foil.
  4. Drizzle the miso sauce onto the salmon, making sure to cover the entire top surface of the salmon.
  5. Set the salmon aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  6. After the salmon has marinated, place into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet.
  7. After 15 minutes, intermittently check on the salmon, making sure not to burn it. Take out the salmon when the sauce has thinned out on top and turned into a golden-brown color. If you would like your salmon fully cooked, leave the salmon in for about another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice or vegetables.

 

Miso tantanmen ramen

Tantanmen, based on the Sichuan Dan Dan Mian noodle dish, is a ramen soup made with ground pork, hints of spice and fragrant sesame. Elevate the flavor by incorporating miso in this homemade version. You can also choose between a spicy or mild soup base depending on which type of doubanjiang (bean paste) you opt for. Tahini is optional but highly recommended for the ramen soup base and can be found at most Asian markets. Feel free to also make this dish vegetarian by using alternative ingredients!

Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tablespoon hot or regular sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • Optional: Ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon doubanjiang or tahini (optional but recommended)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste (or vegetarian miso paste)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • 2 bunches dried ramen noodles or pack fresh ramen noodles
  1. Gather soup base ingredients and mince the garlic.
  2. On a stove, heat up the sesame oil in a pot on medium heat and add the garlic and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds to one minute or until fragrant. Optionally, add in ground pork and continue cooking until the meat is not pink.
  3. Turn to low heat. Add the doubanjiang, tahini (optional) and miso. Stir until slightly incorporated. Add broth, water and soy sauce. Continue stirring to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Bring the soup base to a simmer, add salt and sugar to taste. Turn off the heat and let the soup keep warm.
  5. In a separate pot, boil the ramen noodles according to the package instructions. Strain the noodles.
  6. Place ramen noodles into two bowls and pour the soup over each. Add other additional toppings to your preference. Serve hot.

There you have it, three miso-based meals that can be cooked right in the comfort of your home kitchen. Miso’s distinct taste and ease of use makes it a versatile ingredient in many different sweet and savory dishes. Head to the grocery store today and get yourself some miso to start cooking!

Contact Emily Lui at [email protected].