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18 creative ways to use miso paste in your next meal

Add an umami kick to your next meal with these delicious miso recipes. From side dishes to Japanese-inspired mains and desserts, these creative combos will show you just how versatile miso paste is.

Miso paste is a relatively new ingredient for many Kiwi cooks but one that is rapidly increasing in popularity due to its umami characteristics. Scientifically speaking, umami is the 'fifth taste', following on from sweet, sour, salty and bitter. It gives a full-flavoured savoury mouthfeel to dishes, a little like a spoonful of Marmite might to a stew.
Originating in Japan, miso paste is made from soy beans, salt and koji – a type of fungus, which are fermented with rice, barley or other grains. It comes in red and yellow as well as white, which is in fact a yellowish-beige colour, and is the variety generally found in New Zealand.
Miso is extremely versatile and can find its way into soup, casseroles, dressings and sauces. Add a teaspoon at a time and taste the difference. It only needs to be refrigerated once open, and in a sealed container it will last in the fridge for months.
To make a beautiful saké, miso and butter basted steak, watch our video with The Backyard Cook's Marty Shanahan below!
  • 2

    Miso grilled terakihi donburi

    Quick, healthy and delicious, this miso grilled terakihi donburi recipe ticks all the boxes for a weeknight meal. Serve with a cabbage and carrot salad topped with spring onions


  • 3

    Healthy chicken karaage with miso mayo

    Chicken karaage gets a healthy edge with this recipe. Serve with Japanese-style slaw and homemade miso mayo for a restaurant-worthy meal at home


  • 4

    Flourless almond butter and miso biscuits

    With just a handful of ingredients you can make these flourless almond butter biscuits. You can’t taste the actual flavour of miso, but it brings a lovely richness and a touch of salt to the recipe

    New Zealand Taste|

  • 5

    Roasted vegetables with tahini miso dressing

    Roast veges get a dose of umami flavour with this tasty recipe idea. Winter vegetables are drizzled with a super savoury tahini miso dressing to create the ultimate side dish for your next roast


  • 6

    Eggplant chargrilled with miso and cheese

    The combination of miso and eggplant is irresistible in this recipe. Topping it with cheese gives an extra rich flavour. For a different mix, try courgettes or steamed mussels instead of the eggplant


  • 8

    Seared salmon with miso slaw

    Looking for your next weeknight winner? This recipe ticks all the boxes. Tender seared salmon and crunchy miso slaw come together to create a healthy dinner that can be on the table in just 30 mins


  • 9

    Roasted kumara and orange salad with miso dressing

    Miso paste adds just the right amount of saltiness and brings a beautiful richness to this roasted kumara and orange salad recipe. Any leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week

    New Zealand Taste|

  • 10

    Garlic mushrooms with spinach, quinoa and miso butter

    Adding miso to butter to this quinoa recipe is a lovely way to inject a little umami into everyday eats. Thickly sliced flat mushrooms are used in this dish, but any mushroom will do. Created by Emma Galloway for Taste magazine

    New Zealand Taste|

  • 11

    Ginger and miso eggplant with noodles

    Who said weeknight meals have to be boring? This ginger and miso eggplant recipe packs a flavour punch, and it's ready in just 30 minutes. Serve with steamed greens for a filling vegetarian dinner


  • 13

    Chocolate miso sauce

    The addition of miso in this simple chocolate sauce recipe adds a beautiful depth of flavour and subtle saltiness. Some will think this is a strange combination, but it's really a perfect match

    New Zealand Taste|

  • 14

    Saké, miso and butter basted steak

    The flavour cocktail of saké, miso and butter mixed together then brushed over a beautiful cut of beef is nothing short of incredible. It’s worth hunting out these special ingredients because they will take any cut of steak from zero to hero.

    Food To Love|

  • 15

    Miso broth with tamari pumpkin and noodles

    Warm up with this wholesome nourishing miso broth with tamari pumpkin and noodles. The perfect combination for a meat-free dinner idea.

    Australian Women's Weekly|

  • 16

    Butter miso mushroom risotto

    Enjoy the flavours of Asia with this delectable butter miso mushroom risotto. This dish is quick and easy, yet still packs bags of flavour!

    Australian Women's Weekly|

  • 17

    Spicy dumpling miso soup

    This deliciously fresh Asian inspired miso dumpling soup is perfect for dinner tonight - packed with bags of flavour and just the right amount of kick!

    Australian Women's Weekly|

  • 18

    Miso broth with salmon and soba

    This delicious Japanese inspired miso broth is beautiful enjoyed with fresh salmon sashimi and light soba noodles.

    Australian Women's Weekly|