Miso Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: ⅔ cup ,



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Miso (fermented soy bean sauce) is often used in both cold and hot Japanese sauces. Miso is often combined with mirin or sugar to provide a sweet relief to miso’s strong saltiness. Sweetened miso combined with toasted and ground sesame seeds is a popular sauce for cold vegetables such as asparagus, string beans, or okra. Miso sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce for hot steamed or boiled vegetables. Don’t use salt anywhere else in a dish served with miso—miso sauce is very salty.


white sesame seeds 6 tbsp 90 ml
red miso, or a mixture of brown and white miso 2 tbsp 30 g
mirin ¼ cup 60 ml
water (optional) 1 to 2 tbsp 15 to 30 ml


  1. Toss the sesame seeds in a dry sauté pan over high heat until they smell toasty and turn pale brown, about 5 minutes. Grind them to a paste in a coffee grinder or in a traditional suribachi (Japanese mortar and pestle.
  2. Stir the sesame paste with the miso and the mirin until smooth. Add water, if necessary, to thin to desired consistency.