Miso Caramel

August 10, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Salted caramel is so in these days. I had recently purchased a tub of white miso and was looking for ways to use it and figured it would be a simple way to add not only salt, but also umami to a caramel sauce.theminx

Food52 Review: WHO: theminx is a food blogger based in Baltimore.
WHAT: An umami-rich caramel sauce enriched with a dollop of miso.
HOW: A quick simmer of sugar and water followed by a generous splash of cream gives you caramel -- whisk in the miso and you're done.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The genius of this recipe is its versatility -- yes, you can spoon it over ice cream (or eat it from a spoon), but why not use it to glaze roasted pork or fish?
The Editors

Makes: 1 pint


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
In This Recipe


  1. In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and water. Without additional stirring, bring mixture to a boil. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan. When sugar becomes a deep golden brown and wisps of smoke just start to form, remove pan from heat.
  2. Once off the heat, carefully pour in the cream, which will cause the caramel to bubble. Stir to combine. If the caramel seizes up and hardens with the addition of the cold cream, then put the pan back over low heat and stir until the caramel is liquid again. Whisk in the miso. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into a lidded container. Store in the refrigerator.
  3. Remelt the sauce by putting some in a ramekin and microwaving it on high for 30 second intervals until hot and liquid-y. Serve over ice cream, pound cake, or just eat it cold out of the jar with a spoon.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Japanese|Cheese|Miso|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Dessert

Reviews (36) Questions (0)

36 Reviews

Jenny B. June 13, 2017
I am going to make this and see how it works in an apple pie for my blog. Thanks for all of the step by step photos; they're really helpful!
chez_mere April 17, 2017
Followed the recipe for the caramel exactly, then stirred in a couple big handfuls of toasted walnuts at the very end. Couldn't resist gilding the lily.
beejay45 March 6, 2017
Revisiting this now that it has popped up again...I had been using soy sauce in milk gravies/sauces (e.g., creamed tuna) to give them both color and umami, but after pondering this recipe for a while, I decided to try some white miso instead. Even better! Also, I'm thinking about tweaking this by adding 5-spice powder and a few other things and trying it out for my Chinese-style barbecued pork baste. I do it in strips, hanging in the oven so it gets evenly cooked and sweetly crispy all around. It seems like this would be a great base for that. Thanks, again!
Cococi April 13, 2014
This is such a yummy recipe it inspired me to make miso salted caramel hot milk! Such an innovative pairing @theminx
LisaD January 26, 2014
What would you do to transform this into caramel candies? Continue to cook until hard ball stage?
Courtney P. August 30, 2013
Ok, I seriously keep making this recipe over and over again! It is a staple in my fridge and with ice cream, it's divine. I even had to put in on my blog. You can see the recipe here: http://courtneysglobaltable.com/2013/08/08/vanilla-ice-cream-with-miso-caramel-swirl/
theminx August 30, 2013
Wow - really glad you like it!
andrea L. July 16, 2013
beejay45 July 12, 2013
I, too, have a tub of miso to work through. I'm going to give this a go. It sounds like it would be awesome to sandwich some kind of savoury cookies together. ;)
savorthis July 12, 2013
Swirl it into some whipped cream for an icebox cake!
Courtney P. May 3, 2013
This is so delicious! I made some a few nights ago and then made homemade vanilla ice cream with a miso caramel swirl. Enjoying it now. Thanks for sharing such an easy recipe to use up all the miso in my house!
Chiarina-ina April 24, 2013
Allison (. April 24, 2013
Wow, I am slightly skeptical of this, but on the other hand, it might be amazing... will have to try it! :)
Hilarybee April 24, 2013
I can't wait to try this. I have to drive pretty far to the nearest health food store that stocks it, but this is such a brilliant recipe and worth it. thanks theminx!
luvcookbooks January 14, 2013
Hi,<br />A friend made this for a Food52 potluck yesterday! She came late after I had already had two sundaes, so I just had a tiny taste but I loved it and brought the rest home (she claimed she didn't have a lot of meals that included caramel sauce but I know it will keep for a long time in the refrigerator!). Thanks!! Would never have thought of this.. it tasted very complex and I can't wait to try it on food even tho I was so full I was not sure I could even manage a drop on a spoon. :))
elltea September 2, 2012
A friend made a recipe similar to this recently, which Mark Bittman had shared in the NYT. We couldn't stop eating it straight with a spoon, even though it was supposed to go over ice cream. Can't wait to try your version!
lbrussell September 2, 2012
I think I need to stop what I'm doing right this second to make this. Looks scrumptious!
XHILOGIRL September 2, 2012
this recipe sounds AMAZING! i am making this NOW!
Dr.Insomnia September 2, 2012
Is there any reason to only use white miso? Like if I happened to have red miso in the fridge already, would it be OK to use it.
Author Comment
theminx September 2, 2012
Generally, the rule of thumb is the darker the miso, the more strongly flavored it is. They contain more soybeans in proportion to grain and may be fermented for longer periods of time. And darker misos use more strongly-flavored grains. A red miso, with a high percentage of soybeans and barley, might be a bit overwhelming. White miso has a lot of rice in it, so it's mild to begin with, and has a bit of inherent sweetness.
Bevi September 1, 2012
I think this is a genius recipe. The simplicity of it is brilliant, and I am betting with some adjustments this would make a great chewy caramel. What a pairing with a tea ice cream!
Bevi September 1, 2012
I think this is a genius recipe. The simplicity of it is brilliant, and I am betting with some adjustments this would make a great chewy caramel. What a pairing with a tea ice cream!
Madhuja September 1, 2012
I was a tester for this recipe and was blown away by its deep, rich flavors! This has become my favorite caramel sauce to drizzle over ice-creams! Thanks for posting and congratulations on becoming a finalist!