We've all sipped miso soup at Japanese restaurants, but there are lots of ways to eat the fermented soybean-and-grain paste that don't involve slurping. Miso styles range from white to dark brown in color, and in flavor from delicate and sweet to pungent and salty. Chowhounds recently looked at which types work for different uses. For a miso overview, check out this primer. Above all, FoodFuser says, you need to taste several different misos to determine which ones you like.
Miso is popular in marinades for broiled fish. Nobu's famous glazed black cod recipe calls for white miso. Heartier red miso is a good choice for salmon (Chowhound kittyfood spreads a mixture of red miso, sesame oil, dry sherry, and a bit of honey on salmon before broiling). CHOW's Miso-Ginger Glazed Salmon (pictured) combines red miso with mirin, soy sauce, and brown sugar.
Another popular use for miso is in salad dressings. Scrapironchef mixes it with grated ginger, oil, and rice wine vinegar. Dafina Girl favors an East-West combination of red miso, low-sodium soy, and sesame oil mixed with olive oil and and balsamic vinegar. And kenito799 is a fan of this carrot-miso dressing.
Discuss: Miso Paste - How do I use it
Photo by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com