Miso is known for its powerful umami flavor, which can add a perfect well-rounded bite to many dishes. We’re big fans of cooking with miso at Marley Spoon not only for its flavor impact, but for its health benefits.

What exactly is miso?

Miso is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (a culture made from fermented rice or other grains like barley). It can be made with a variety of ingredients–Bon Appetit has put together a great little quick guide to the most common types you’ll find at your local market.

Why is it so good for you?

  • Fermented foods like miso contain beneficial bacterias that help maintain a healthy balance of acid in your gut, which ultimately supports your immune system and helps aid in digestion.

  • Some studies say that miso can help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

  • It’s a concentrated protein source with rich amino acids, and it is also contains high levels of antioxidants.

  • In Ayurvedic medicine, it’s believed to reduce vata.

While miso is often used in Japanese cooking, we’ve used this multifaceted ingredient in some unexpected ways. We’ve combined it with tahini for a savory sauce on roasted chicken and vegetables, added it to a pasta sauce, and even put it inside a hamburger. Below are a few of our favorite recipes that take advantage of this powerhouse ingredient.

Linguine in Miso Butter with Spinach and Shiitakes

Miso Beef Burgers with Japanese-Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries

Roasted Chicken Thighs, Potatoes, and Carrots with Miso-Tahini Sauce

Japanese Chicken Meatballs and Broccolini with Miso Butter

Mushroom Ramen with Miso Glazed Tofu