Tag Archives: miso

Pasta with Cremini Mushrooms and Miso

For this hearty vegetarian dish, the pasta is cooked directly in the sauce, so there’s no need to boil water in a separate pot. Japanese miso may seem an unlikely ingredient to pair with Italian pasta, but it deepens the mushrooms’ earthiness, and lightly browning the miso as it is done here develops even more flavor intensity so the dish tastes surprisingly meaty and rich.

Cavatappi is a good choice because its twisty shape is a good match for the chunky mushrooms, but any short pasta shape, such as penne or fusilli, works well, too. But because we used a larger flat pasta, we needed to add another cup of water to loosen the sauce.

Don’t forget to stir the pasta as it cooks. The pot will be quite full, so frequent stirring will help ensure that the pasta cooks evenly.

Pasta with Cremini Mushrooms and Miso

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) salted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup white miso
  • ½ cup dry white vermouth
  • 2 lbs. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 lb. short pasta (see note)
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ oz. pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (¼ cup)


  • On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. (Or use a pressure cooker.) Add the butter and melt. Add the onion and garlic, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the miso and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring, until almost fully evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups water (or 4 if necessary to loosen) and whisk until the miso dissolves. Stir in the mushrooms and bring to a boil, then distribute in an even layer.
  • Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
  • Select More/High Sauté. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente and and the sauce clings lightly, about 10 minutes. Press Cancel to turn off the pot.
  • Stir in the thyme and lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley and pecorino.


Recipe by Phoebe Maglathlin for Milk Street

Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry

This light, delicate weeknight curry comes together in less than 30 minutes and is defined by its deep miso flavor. Miso is typically whisked into soups toward the end of the recipe, but sweating it directly in the pot with ginger, garlic and a little oil early on helps the paste caramelize, intensifying its earthy sweetness.

Unfortunately, I misread the instructions and didn’t add the miso until after the coconut milk had been boiling for several minutes, missing out on the nice caramelization—mea culpa. While the overall flavor is on the mild side, adding a tablespoon of red Thai curry paste at the same time as introducing the miso to the pot, will provide a more pronounced touch of heat and deepen the overall color.

Adding coconut milk creates a rich broth that works with a wide range of seafood. Salmon is used here, but flaky white fish, shrimp or scallops would all benefit from this quick poaching method. A squeeze of lime and a flurry of fresh herbs keep this curry bright and citrusy. For a hit of heat, garnish with sliced fresh jalapeño or serrano chile peppers.

Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 Tbsp. safflower or canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup white miso
  • ½ cup unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2-lb. salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 5 oz. baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  •  Steamed rice, such as jasmine or basmati, for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion, ginger and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add miso and cook, stirring frequently, until miso is lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add coconut milk and 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in salmon, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in spinach and lime juice.
  5. Divide rice among bowls. Top with salmon curry, basil and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top.


Adapted from a recipe by Kay Chun for NYTimes Cooking

Pan-Seared Salmon With Miso Rice and Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette

This simple weeknight meal makes great use of pantry staples to create complex flavors with minimal work. Miso is often used to flavor soups or sauces, and here, it is added to raw rice before cooking, which results in a delightfully sticky, savory steamed rice. Fragrant and nutty basmati is called for, but any long-grain rice, such as jasmine (which we used), will work.

Shredded cabbage brings freshness and crunch to the finished dish, but use whatever crispy vegetable you have on hand such as shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, snap peas, and/or radishes. We had leftover red cabbage, so we used that along with shredded carrots and radishes providing wonderful pops of color!

If possible, use a hand mandoline to get paper thin carrot and radish slices. And if you desire a heftier meal, add some canned chickpeas, white beans or black beans, although neither of us thought it would be necessary.

To finish, the vibrant tang of the bright ginger-scallion vinaigrette balances the richness of the roasted salmon, which we cooked only a pound for the two of us. But if you make the full 1 1/2 pounds, you may want to consider doubling that scallion vinaigrette.

Probably the biggest change we made to the recipe was how we cooked the fish. Instead of in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet, we used a non-stick skillet, and cooked skin-side down for the first 6 minutes, then carefully turned it over to finish, about another 2 minutes.

Quick, easy, colorful and healthy. What more can you ask for as a weeknight meal?

Pan-Seared Salmon With Miso Rice and Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/4 cup white or sweet miso
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, (6-ounces each)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cups finely shredded cabbage, such as green, Napa or savoy; OR a mix of thinly sliced cruciferous veggies (about 8 ounces)
  • Toasted sesame oil, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk miso with 2 1/4 cups water until dissolved. Stir in rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork (it will be a little sticky).
  3. On a rimmed baking sheet, rub salmon all over with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange skin-side up. Roast until fish is just opaque and cooked to medium, 8 to 10 minutes. OR, in a non-stick skillet over medium-high, sear the salmon skin side down for 6 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Carefully flip over and sear another 2 minutes or so. For medium to medium-rare, aim for 125˚F to 135˚F.
  4. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, vinegar and ginger, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide miso rice and cabbage, and other vegetables if using, among bowls. Top with salmon, ginger-scallion vinaigrette and sesame oil.


Loosely adapted from a recipe by Kay Chun for NY Times Cooking

Miso Loved this Savory Dish!

We saw this Smothered Chicken with Bourbon and Miso recipe in our latest Milk Street magazine and knew it had to get on our short list. It is their adaptation of a recipe from the cookbook “Smoke and Pickles” by Edward Lee.

As described by Milk Street, “It’s a fantastic Asian-inflected spin on an all-American favorite: smothered pork chops. A combination of umami-rich ingredients, woodsy bourbon and sweet-tangy orange juice produces a silky, deeply flavored mushroom sauce for smothering tender bone-in chicken legs.”

And since I am not a fan of chicken legs, we decided to buy a whole 3 1/2-pound chicken. This option gives us the extra “body parts” for making homemade stock later on. Plus, I get my preferred white meat.

Don’t worry if you have the wrong variety of miso. Dark miso, such as red (aka) or barley (mugi) miso is preferred, but white (shiro) miso is easier to find and more versatile. The sauce will be a little sweeter and milder, but still delicious.

Smothering typically refers to braising meats in gravy, a process that produces tender meat and a rich sauce to ladle over it—but it is time-intensive. Here, corners are cut to streamline the technique but keep the savory flavor. Chief among them are the bourbon whisky, dark soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms.

Bourbon is a wonderful ingredient to add when you want a smoky, aged sweetness with a bit of leathery caramel flavor.

Edward Lee

The result? A rich, velvety umami-packed chicken that offers the savory flavors of a long braise in a fraction of the time. Works for us!

If you are interested in the unusual but fantastic side dish, check out this recipe for Sautéed Celery with Leeks and Mushrooms.

Smothered Chicken with Bourbon and Miso

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. dark miso, such as red or barley miso (see note)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters (about 3 pounds total), patted dry
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 12 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ⅓ cup bourbon


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and miso until smooth. Whisk in the orange juice and set aside.
  2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken skin down and cook undisturbed until well browned, about 5 minutes. (You may have to do this in two batches.)
  3. Flip and cook until the second sides are well browned, another 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate, then pour off and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot.
  4. Return the pot to medium-high. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the bourbon and cook, scraping up the browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour in the miso mixture and 2 cups water, then bring to a simmer. Return the chicken skin up to the pot and pour in the accumulated juices.
  7. Cover, reduce to medium-low and cook, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, until the thickest parts of the legs reach 175°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Bring the sauce to a boil over high and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened to a gravy consistency, 7 to 9 minutes.
  9. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then spoon over the chicken.