Miso Onion Vinaigrette

Miso Onion Dressing

  • By
  • Time
    3 minutes
Miso Onion Vinaigrette

“No miso, no Japanese cuisine!”, is not an understatement; miso is a huge part of Japan’s food culture. When one thinks of miso, dishes including miso soup and miso pickled vegetables come to mind. But little known is that miso also makes for an excellent dressing for vegetables. We will take a look at a dressing recipe that takes advantage of the richness of miso and the sweetness of the onion. It’s a very simple recipe full of umami flavor that brings out the natural delicious of any salad.


The History of Miso

Miso is thought to have originated as an ancient Chinese food, at the time called “sho” or “hishio.” The sho was fermented and matured in salt and was used to preserve foods. In the process, people found that the product before becoming sho contained a delicious umami flavor. Thus, the discovery of miso. How miso was called also went through an evolution, first called “mishou” then “misho” and finally “miso.” Until the Heian period (794-1185), miso was a seasoning for the upper classes. Gradually, the consumption of miso became more widespread as miso soup gained in popularity as an indispensable dish for the samurai of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). It was also wildly popular among the general public as an essential part of the diet during the Edo period (1603-1868). Miso is a nutritious food that is good for the health when eaten in moderation. In fact, it used to be said that money should be spent at a miso shop rather than paying a doctor.


Various Regional Miso Flavors

Describing what miso tastes like in a few words is difficult, as it is a multi-dimensional seasoning that can take on many nuanced tastes. Various types of miso can be produced, with differences emerging from weather and climate conditions, the balance of the raw ingredients and the differing preparation methods employed throughout Japan. A quick look at the miso section at a supermarket in Japan can give a sense to the variety and preferences of miso. Among the varieties, there exist sweet and dry, as well as red and white miso. Traveling to suburban or country side areas allow for the discovery of distinctive miso dishes that use locally produced miso. A mix of miso with a beloved western ingredient can produce satisfying results. By combining miso with olive oil, a fragrant dressing that perks up any salad emerges.

Nutrition per Serving
  • Calories
  • Sodium
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Carbs
  • Fiber
  • Cholesterol


  • tbsp Miso (with dashi)
  • 2.1  oz Sweet onion
  • 60  ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 0.5  tsp Black pepper


Miso Onion Vinaigrette

Step 1

Peel the onion and cut it into pieces large enough to fit in the food processor.

Step 2

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well until smooth.

Japanese Culinary Expert living in Hawaii

Yuri has lived in the U.S. for 19 years. Proud of her family roots, Yuri was born and raised in Japan where her mother's family ran a supermarket, All the relatives lived in the same area and worked by doing things together. The environment she grew up in, the cooking she learned from her mother and the flavors she learned in the U.S. all inform her home cooking. Yuri's dishes are those that her family would enjoy. She believes that "surrounding the dinner table with the people you love is one of the most important and happy times in your life".