Miso Sauce (Glaze and Marinade) is an umami-packed Japanese sauce that comes together in less than 10 minutes with just 5 ingredients. Enjoy this versatile sauce as a glaze or marinade for veggies, fish, chicken, tofu, and more!
This 10-minute miso sauce is an excellent way to add rich flavor to your weeknight dinners. It has a unique miso flavor with a light creamy texture and goes with just about any vegetable, protein, or noodle. This recipe takes just a few minutes to make and is enough for at least a couple of weeknight dinners.
Our favorite way to use it is on eggplant, salmon, cod, and tofu for an easy weeknight dinner. You can even add a small dollop to tuna for Spicy Tuna Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) for even more flavor! Give it a try next time you want to dress up a protein or veggie with lots of flavor.
About Miso Sauce
- Taste - The combination of ingredients create a rich and unique umami flavored sauce. It's both sweet and savory and will add a depth of flavor to any dish.
- Texture - The sauce is creamy yet light.
- Effort - You just need to whisk the sauce and let it simmer. Cleanup is minimal.
- Time - The whole process only takes 10 minutes.
What is miso?
Miso a traditional Japanese sauce and seasoning. It is made of fermented soybeans, salt, and kōji (a fungus). Miso has a uniquely tangy flavor and is now widely popular worldwide.
Types of Miso Paste
The main types of miso are red, white, and mixed. White miso is sweeter and lighter because it is made with a large percentage of rice. On the other hand, red miso has a bolder flavor because it has more soybeans and ferments longer.
In this recipe, we use white miso because we prefer the light sweetness it adds to the miso sauce. However, you can also use red miso if you want the sauce to have a stronger miso flavor.
- White miso paste - Miso paste gives the sauce a warm savory and lightly sweet flavor. We like Hikari miso paste because it is high-quality yet affordable.
- Sugar - Sugar adds sweetness to the sauce that complements the savory miso flavor.
- Sake - Sake adds savoriness.
- Mirin - Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that adds umami flavor and is the base of many Japanese sauces.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
While we don't recommend adding anything to this homemade miso dressing, the following ingredients can complement the sauce flavor:
- Bonito flakes - Add bonito flakes to add a light smoky and fishy flavor.
- Spicy - Red pepper flakes or togarashi will to give the sauce a little kick.
- Sesame oil - Sesame oil will add a toasty flavor and nutty aroma.
- Red miso - Add red miso for a stronger miso flavor.
- Brown sugar - Use brown sugar if you prefer a molasses flavor.
- Fresh ginger - Add fresh grated ginger for a peppery and pungent spice.
- Add ingredients to saucepan - Add miso, sugar, sake, and mirin to a small saucepan over low heat and whisk well. If there are bits of miso, press them with a spoon or silicone spatula to incorporate them into the mixture. (Photo 1 and 2)
- Cook until liquid - Heat until the mixture becomes thick and liquidy, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and give the mixture a stir. (Photo 3)
- Use as glaze or marinade - Use as a glaze for fish, chicken, tofu, eggplant, and more. (Photo 4)
Pro tip: Right before you use the sauce, give it a good stir to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated and haven't separated.
While we don't consider miso sauce to be super healthy, it also isn't unhealthy. The miso paste has a good amount of nutrients, but the other ingredients do not.
Yes, miso glaze has a uniquely sweet and salty and umami flavor. The white miso and sugar provide the sweetness.
Miso paste can be eaten raw or cooked. Since it is a living food with probiotic bacteria, it should be consumed with minimal heating and should not be boiled.
Yes, most miso sauce is gluten free. The only ingredient that can potentially contain gluten is the miso paste because it sometimes has grain. Here, we use a gluten free miso paste so our recipe is gluten free.
No, our miso sauce is mainly sweet with just a hint of spice from the miso paste.
Yes, all of the ingredients are vegan.
What to Serve with Miso Sauce
Miso glaze tastes delicious with so many dishes! Besides eggplant, we love miso marinated salmon and chicken. We also love it in stir fry or as a dipping sauce for broccoli, broccolini, asparagus, or kabocha.
Refrigerate this all purpose miso sauce in an air-tight container or lidded jar for up to 2 months. Before using it again, stir it until it reaches its original consistency. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Just be sure to store it in the correct freezer container (not a lidded glass jar, which can break).
- This sauce can burn easily. Keep a close eye on it while it cooks to ensure it doesn't burn.
- To use this easy miso sauce as a sauce for meat or fish, drizzle the sauce on the protein in the last couple minutes of cooking/baking. If you add the sauce too early, it will burn.
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Miso Sauce (Glaze and Marinade)
- Add miso, sugar, sake, and mirin to a small saucepan over low heat and whisk well. If there are bits of miso, press them with a spoon or silicone spatula to incorporate them into the mixture. Heat until the mixture becomes thick and liquidy, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and give the mixture a stir. Use as a glaze for fish, chicken, tofu, eggplant, and more.8 tablespoon white miso paste, 4 tablespoon sugar, 4 tablespoon sake, 4 tablespoon mirin
- Store this all purpose miso sauce in the refrigerator in an air-tight container or lidded jar for up to 2 months. Before using it again, stir it until it reaches its original consistency. You can also freeze it for a few months. Just be sure to store it in the correct freezer container (not a lidded glass jar, which can break in the freezer).
- Stir the sauce right before you use it to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated and haven't separated.
- This sauce can burn easily. Keep a close eye on the sauce while it cooks to ensure it doesn't burn.
- To use this easy miso sauce as a sauce for meat or fish, drizzle the sauce on the protein in the last couple minutes of cooking/baking. Be careful not to add the sauce too early or it will burn.