When this Japanese super ingredient – miso, meets Western butter, delicious sensation here we come! Elevate your regular dish to restaurant style with this Miso Butter in no time. With only two ingredients, you can master this miso butter recipe today, and watch meals disappear from the family table!
When I think Japanese umami, I think Miso. It’s a staple in Japanese cuisine and a flavour I grew up with. Miso is super healthy fermented soy bean paste. It brings out the umami in just about any ingredient. This miso butter is highly versatile, and is one of my favourite condiments – perfect for vegetables, rice and more.
Homemade miso butter is a super popular Japanese condiment. Along with ponzu sauce, teriyaki sauce or Kewpie Mayo, it appears in most Japanese kitchens. It deepens the flavour of any dish, helping it become rich and super flavourful.
This Japanese condiment has received much attention outside the country with restaurant chefs using it around the world. But who says we have to go to a restaurant to enjoy it? I thought why not make it at home, and bring a restaurant style flavour into the kitchen!
Bring joy into your life and share it with loved ones. Read on!
What is miso butter?
This miso compound butter is a Japanese super condiment. It induces a rich flavour in almost any dish.
So you may wonder how this Japanese ingredient works with butter? Miso is made by fermenting soy beans with a fungus called koji. This fungus is essential for making various Japanese ingredients – think soy sauce, sake, miso, mirin and rice vinegar! When you combine soy beans with koji, it creates a magical flavour. That's umami!
How to use miso butter
This super condiment is so versatile. Here are some ideas for miso butter recipes:
- toast with miso butter
- miso garlic bread
- miso butter pasta
Or just melt it over baked potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, or yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls). Of course you can also add it to spicy miso ramen, top it on roasted cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, eggplant or carrot. Cook with mushroom or pan fried potatoes. Spread over grilled or boiled corn on the cob. Basically, it works with just about anything.
Ingredients for miso butter
You just need two ingredients:
Butter: You can use unsalted butter. Since miso is already salty and rich in flavour, I always use unsalted butter. You can always add salt or pepper to taste later. If you can find organic unpasteurized and organic butter, that's great.
Miso: This fermented soy bean paste is central to Japanese cooking. Salty, rich and full of umami flavour, it never disappoints.
Which miso should you use?
You'll find white miso (shiro miso), yellow miso (awase miso) and red miso (aka miso) at most stores. But you can use any type of miso for this recipe. The yellow awase miso is found in just about every household in Japan. We make miso soup and braise, grill and simmer vegetables with it. I use yellow awase miso.
The white and red colours are that colour due to the fermentation length, with red miso fermented longer than white miso. It has a deeper flavour and is a tiny bit bitter compared to white miso. Awase means blending in Japanese. Yellow miso (awase miso) is a blend of white and red miso.
White miso is often used for special occasion meals such as zoni (Japanese New Year mochi soup). It's more costly than other miso. It's also sweeter then other types of miso. Red miso is often used with seafood and meat dishes in Japan.
Where to get miso
Miso is available at local grocery stores or the supermarket. Miso will either be stored next to tofu in a fridge, or on the shelf in the Japanese section.
You will always find it at local Japanese supermarkets.
Once you get some ideas about miso, you can try to add some ingredients you enjoy, and create your own versions. Here are some ideas:
- spicy miso butter - add chili flakes, chili powder or sriracha
- miso garlic butter - add grated garlic
- garnish with herbs
How to Make Miso Butter
All you do is to combine two ingredients.
Leave the butter at the room temperature and all to soften. Don't use a microwave to soften it. I tried it but the taste was not great, and it doesn’t soften as evenly as room temperature.
Once it's softened, combine with miso in a small bowl. I use a small spatula. Or if you make a large amount, a hand mixer or food processor is useful. In that case, there’s no need to soften butter at room temperature, and allow soften.
You can add your favourite ingredients like salt, pepper, garlic or chili flakes. Or sprinkle herbs.
That's it! Enjoy!
How to store miso butter
Prepare a clean air-tight glass container and leave it in the fridge for a month.
Can you freeze miso butter?
Yes! Keep it in a freezer bag or container for three months. Mark the date on the bag so you know when to use it by. Defrost it at the room temperature, or in the fridge. Or if it's sliced or cubed, you can immediately use it for cooking.
Is miso butter gluten-free?
Yes. Ours is gluten-free. Make sure you use gluten-free miso. Miso is not made with wheat but soy beans, but in its production process, wheat is used. Check the label.
You can make it vegan friendly by using plant-based butter. Please find the link in the recipe below.
More Japanese condiments
Japanese Mayo (Kewpie Mayo)
Toasted Sesame Seeds
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 8 tablespoons, 116g: or plant based butter)
- 4 tablespoons miso (note 1)
Optional add ons
- 2 cloves grated garlic (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 1 tablespoon herbs (optional: dill, chilantro, chive or parsley)
- Leave butter at room temperature and allow to soften. (note 2)
- Place the butter and miso in a small container, and combine them with a spatula or fork until consistent.
- Add your optional ingredients or your favourite additions into the mix. Add salt or pepper to taste if needed.That's it! Enjoy!
- You can often find white, yellow and red miso at the shop. Any type of miso works for this recipe. I use yellow miso (awase miso). The white and red miso develops its colour based on the length of time it's fermented. Red miso is longer than white miso. Red is slightly bitter compared to white miso which is milder and naturally sweeter.
- Don't use a microwave to soften the butter. The flavour and taste will be different. It may take time to soften it at room temperature, but the result comes great.
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