Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Miso paste: Ottolenghi’s trick condiment to add depth and deliciousness

by Malou Herkes

published on 25 August 2020

Ottolenghi's pantry is full of trick ingredients that he uses to inject quick flavour into his recipes with minimal effort. Umami-rich miso paste is one of them. Miso paste is made from fermented soy beans and is a staple in Japanese cuisine. As a fermented ingredient it has layers of flavour that can help create complex depth in your dishes, giving an umami boost and “an unmistakable, yet very delicious, funk”, says Ottolenghi.

Miso paste is readily available in most supermarkets these days and it lasts for ages in the fridge. There are several different types, from red to white to black miso, which can differ depending on how long they're fermented or the grains they're fermented with. Sweet, mellow white miso is Ottolenghi's preferred variety, which he uses to add complexity to vegetable dishes, to add sweet umami to grilled quail or chicken and to salad dressings. Miso Tasty is the preferred brand in the Ottolenghi test kitchen, and their white miso paste is included in the Ottolenghi FLAVOUR hamper. Here are some of our favourite Ottolenghi miso recipes.

From the book

Ixta Belfrage, Yotam Ottolenghi

Miso Butter Onions ottolenghi flavour cookbook miso recipes

Miso Butter Onions from Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

With just three ingredients – onions, butter and white miso paste – this traybake side dish is the definition of low effort in exchange for big flavour. Serve caramelised onions doused in a rich and buttery miso sauce alongside roast chicken or spooned on top of toast, rice or mash. Find this recipe on p.258 of your copy of Ottolenghi FLAVOUR.

From the book

Ixta Belfrage, Yotam Ottolenghi

Quails with Burnt Miso Butterscotch and Pomegranate and Walnut Salsa ottolenghi nopi cookbook miso recipes

Quails with Burnt Miso Butterscotch from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully

“We went through a miso stage where the sweet, umami-rich white or brown paste found its way into every dish possible. Miso ice cream, miso dressings, miso soup”, say Yotam and Ramael of their NOPI restaurant menu. This dinner party-worthy dish is one of them, in which miso is cooked in the oven until almost caramel-like and slathered onto quail before grilling. You can also use de-boned chicken thighs here. Served with a pomegranate and pickled walnut salsa, this has real 'wow' factor. 

Order a copy of NOPI: The Cookbook here.

swede gnocchi with miso butter ottolenghi flavour cookbook miso recipes

Swede Gnocchi with Miso Butter from Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

These luxuriously light gnocchi are served up in a miso, lime, ginger and butter sauce for an Asian-inspired twist on a traditionally Italian classic. Tossed through with the Asian leafy green, Morning Glory, with hollow stalks that are the perfect vehicle for this sauce.

Get this recipe by ordering a copy of Ottolenghi's newest cookbook, FLAVOUR.

nopi cookbook ottolenghi miso recipes roast pork with miso butternut squash

Roasted Pork Belly with Miso Butternut Squash from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully

Pork belly is roasted here with lemongrass, ginger and thyme and paired with miso-spiked butternut squash and an apple and walnut salsa. Sweet, nutty squash and umami miso are a great pairing and work wonderfully alongside any roast bird, or with wine-brasied shallots. 

Order a copy of NOPI: The Cookbook here.


ottolenghi miso recipes Miso Vegetables and Rice with Black Sesame Dressing plenty more

Miso Vegetables and Rice with Black Sesame Dressing from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

“This is my go-to dish for winter evening comfort food”, says Ottolenghi of this Japanese-inspired veggie dish, in which mushrooms, broccolini, carrots and mangetout are cooked in a miso and dashi broth, and topped with a black sesame and peanut dressing.

Order a copy of Plenty More here.

ottolenghi miso recipes French Beans with Freekeh and Miso nopi cookbook

French Beans with Freekeh and Miso from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully

Smoky freekeh and umami-rich miso are an unlikely but perfect pairing in this punchy vegetarian salad. Freekeh, shallots, mushrooms and beans are dressed here with a caramelised miso and orange dressing.

Order a copy of NOPI: The Cookbook here.


You might also like

View all

Recipe Collections

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Recipes

Take your New Year’s Eve celebrations to the next level with this selection of elegant cocktails. Worry about the hangover next year…

Book Collections

6 slow cooker recipe books

Slow cookers lend a helping hand in the kitchen, doing most of the hard work for you. Here are the best slow cooker cookbooks to get you started. 

Recipe Collections

Easy slow cooker Christmas recipes

Discover the best festive dishes to create in your trusty slow cooker, featuring recipes by Nathan Anthony (Bored of Lunch) and Clare Andrews.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week