Ingredient Spotlight: Miso on the Menu

If you haven’t noticed, fermentation is everywhere. It’s on the tables of our favorite brewpubs in Mason jars jammed with house made pickles and veggies, and it is in the crocks of consumers making their own kimchi or sauerkraut. And it is a favorite Japanese soup – miso soup. Miso is a fermented wonder that has the ability to transform water into an umami-rich, mouth watering, savory broth and much, much more.

A Little History

Miso is the fermented soybean paste extracted from aging soybeans, water, salt, rice or barley. It originated from China, Japan or Korea in the middle of the 6th century.  The Chinese miso was typically associated with royalty while the Japanese style of preparing miso was more of a farmhouse style and rustic crock technique. The Korean style of miso takes mashed soybean and forms it into balls where it is tied up into rafters and left to mold.1 No matter how it came to be, we think it is just delicious.


Yes, we are a little miso-obsessed given our red and white miso product offerings and we now know we are not alone. We spent a little time browsing and found just on Pinterest alone hundreds of recipes that incorporate miso because of its ability to take a recipe to another level of taste. The images of miso roasted cauliflower and miso glazed eggplant had us swooning as did the brown sugar miso ice cream. Give us a spoon for that one. It is clear to us just from looking at Pinterest that consumers understand and appreciate the level of umami and unexpected flavor that miso brings to almost every recipe, category and application.

Bon Appetit also appears to have a fascination with miso and has inspiring recipes that we can’t wait to test with one of our Red or White Miso Powders. One look at the Pasta with Pancetta and Miso and we’re ready to boil some water. And if a warm apple cobbler with a miso kissed crumble is wrong, then we don’t want to be right. And we can’t leave out David Chang’s Milk Bar and his miso butterscotch chai. Looking at all three recipes, we might have just created the perfect miso menu.

Don’t Miso Out

Nikken’s miso powders can help you:

  • Achieve a well-rounded savory note in finished applications to provide surprising craveability
  • Deliver a traditional miso/fermented soybean profile to many types of cuisines beyond traditional Asian dishes, bringing YUM-worthy balance and complexity
  • Enhance flavor for dairy ingredients such as butter, milk or cream in soups and sauces

And of course, we have some miso recipes on our site that we hope will inspire you in your application development. Give us a call for any technical assistance –miso or otherwise. We don’t want to miso any opportunity to help!