Have you ever wondered what to do with that leftover miso paste in the back of the fridge? Well now we’ve got you covered with some helpful info and tasty recipes to kick-start your kitchen adventures using this versatile ingredient.
Miso paste is a super popular and versatile Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans. It’s often used as a seasoning in traditional Japanese soups and marinades and is a great source of proteins and nutrients.
Everyone knows Miso Soup of course, but miso can be used in way more interesting ways than we first thought.
But did you know you can even use miso paste to make sweet and creamy desserts too?
Yep. We’re deadly serious.
And boy do they look delicious!
Apart from soups, sauces, and crazy awesome desserts, miso paste can also be used to make tangy salad dressings and savoury marinade.
We’ve got a delicious range of them below just begging to take a turn around your kitchen.
Now there’s no need to let that humble pack of miso wallow in the back of your fridge til you discover it months down the track. Whip up a few of these recipes and you’ll be wondering how it disappeared so quickly!
Before we begin, here’s a quick overview of the three main types of miso paste available so you’ll know what each type brings to the table.
The Three Main Types of Miso Paste
White Miso (Shiro Miso)
First up: Made from fermented soybeans and rice, the name white miso is actually a bit of a trick, as you’re more likely to find this variety in a pale yellow colour (not to be confused with yellow miso below, which is actually brown in colour. Why is this so confusing? I have no idea!).
White miso is also known as ‘sweet’ or ‘mellow’ miso, as it has the mildest flavour of the three. It is also lower in salt than the darker varieties because it’s fermented for a shorter amount of time. White miso is the most versatile of the three types so it’s a great all-rounder to keep in the fridge for many of the recipes below.
Great Choice For:
Condiments (such as mayonnaise) / Salad Dressings / Light Sauces / Desserts
Yellow Miso (Shinshu Miso)
Fermented with barley and sometimes a small amount of rice, remember that yellow miso is actually a light brown colour. It has a stronger, earthier flavour than White Miso and just a hint of sweetness in comparison.
Great Choice For:
Soups / Marinades / Glazes
Red Miso (Aka Miso)
Red miso has the strongest flavour of the three main varieties of miso paste because it’s made with a higher percentage of soybeans and has been fermented for a longer time. It’s the saltiest and most pungent of the three as well, adding some serious umami flavour to your dishes. Note that the term red miso covers all of the darker shades including dark red and dark brown.
Great Choice For:
Heavier Soups / Heartier Marinades
Now as you can see, the colour of any miso paste can give you a good idea of how it will taste. Paler in colour = lighter in flavour. Darker colour = stronger and more intense umami flavour.
If you’re looking for a versatile miso to use in a broad range of dishes opting for yellow or white miso should do the trick. If you’ve only got red miso on hand you can still use it, but play it cool and only add a touch at a time til you’re happy with the flavour.
You can always add more in but you can’t take it out!
Where to Buy and How to Store Miso Paste
Thankfully a huge variety of miso pastes are now available across the globe. You’ll find a range of types and brands on the shelves in Asian grocery stores and occasionally the Asian section at well-stocked local supermarkets.
Once opened, miso paste should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Lighter varieties will last around nine months while darker varieties will keep for up to a year. Check the ingredients list when you buy and try to avoid brands with additives such as MSG.
Bring on the Miso Recipes!
Now that you’re an expert on this amazing ingredient here are a few recipes we think you should try. Personally we can’t wait to try a miso infused dessert – so if that’s where you want to start there’ll be zero judgement from us. Enjoy!
Chunky Pumpkin Miso Soup with Tofu – By Wandercooks
Ozoni Miso Soup with Mochi Rice Cake – Chopstick Chronicles
Stir Fries / Noodles
Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls – By Wandercooks
Honey + Miso Stir Fry – By A Beautiful Mess
Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing – Pinch of Yum
Sesame Ginger Miso Dressing – Savory Sweet Life
Sauces & Glazes
Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Ball) with Miso Butter Sauce – Chopstick Chronicles
Flank Steak with Ponzu & Miso Butter – Rasa Malaysia
Whiskey Miso Pork Chops – Steamy Kitchen
Japanese Miso Marinated Side of Salmon – RecipeTin Eats
Blueberry Turnovers with Maple Miso Drizzle – By Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes
The Best Ever Ginger + Miso Ice Cream – Drizzle & Dip
So what do you think? Which one would you try? I know we’re definitely heading to the freezer for our next batch. 😉
Want some more foodspiration? Come hang out with us on Instagram @wandercooks and say hello!