I can be lazy when it comes to sauces and sides. Some nights, I’m happy to throw leftover brown rice with leftover vegetables and leftover tofu/lentils/whatever in a bowl and hit “add one minute” on the microwave.

While considering recipes for a piece about Gruner Veltliner wine, I got on the umami track and decided to justify the recent purchase of a tub of miso paste by whipping up what’s turned into a new favorite marinade that can do double-duty as a sauce.

It does wonders for dressing up what would otherwise be a lackluster meal. A little of this stuff plus some minced garlic and ginger really woke up this makeshift stir-fry the other night. Leftover brown rice + leftover tofu + frozen broccoli + frozen green beans + frozen edamame…um, yeah. What it lacked in careful prep, it made up for in flavor. 4 types of soy on one plate—that’s got to be some kind of record.


  • 4 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp water (more if using as a sauce)


  1. Whisk ingredients in a bowl until thin pasty substance forms. Use as a marinade or pour into pot and stir well to mix. Add more water if needed.

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