Miso Vegetables & Tofu Recipe

A one-dish meal, inspired by a recipe in Harumi Kurihara's Everyday Harumi - asparagus, broccoli, and tofu tossed with a salty-sweet miso dressing.

Miso Vegetables & Tofu

My apologies in advance. It has been a bit busy on this end, and although this post will be on the short side, the recipe itself is particularly tasty. Eight ingredients and a few simple steps come together into something special. A light meal that still satisfies. The flavor profile is Japanese, and it's one of those preparations where an interesting dressing and good quality vegetables come together into something vibrant and uplifting. It's the sort of thing I like to have for lunch, but could also make a nice component in an al fresco dinner.

Miso Vegetables & Tofu

It's based loosely on a recipe I came across in Harumi Kurihara's beautiful Everyday Harumi cookbook. Harumi makes a seductively colorful side dish by dressing lightly blanched green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower in a salty-sweet miso dressing. I wanted to make a one-dish meal based on this general idea. I used in-season vegetables (the asparagus and broccoli caught my eye yesterday's market), and in addition to that, tofu I'd browned in a pan. You can certainly experiment with whatever vegetables are in season where you are.

Have a look at Everyday Harumi if you come across it, I bought a copy a few weeks ago, and there are quite a number of recipes I'm excited to try. It is beautifully produced, photographed, and designed. The recipes are completely (weekday) approachable, with plenty of inspiration for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Also, for those of you not familiar with Harumi, Julia Moskin wrote a nice profile of her a few years back for the New York Times - Empress of Domesticity Drops In.

Again, my apologies for being so short with this post - house guests, book writing, and preparing for a couple little trips - all creating the perfect storm of distraction this week!

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Miso Vegetables & Tofu

A couple notes: This recipe makes more dressing than you'll need. But the leftover will keep refrigerated for a week or two. As far as vegetables go, I used a combination of thin asparagus and broccoli florets here (in season), but Harumi uses green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli. Have fun experimenting with different in-season ingredients wherever you are.

6 oz awase miso (or blend or equal parts white & red miso)
1/4 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
3 tablespoons sifted natural cane sugar
red pepper flakes or shichimi tōgarashi, a big pinch or two

4 cups / 12 oz / 340 g bite-sized veggies (see headnotes)

12 ounces / 340 g baked or grilled (or lightly pan-fried) firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces

Start the dressing first. Combine miso, sake, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil, dial down the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until it thickens a bit. Toward the end, stir in the red pepper flakes, adding to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and blanch the vegetables very briefly, just long enough to take the raw edge off, no more than a minute. I knew the broccoli might take 20-30 seconds longer to cook than the thin asparagus, so I added it to the pot first. Use your best judgment based on whatever vegetables you are using. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well, you want to try to get as much water off the vegetables as possible.

In a large serving bowl gently toss the vegetables until thoroughly coated with 1/3 cup / 80 ml of the miso dressing. Add the tofu and toss again. Taste and add more dressing if you like, just keep in mind, this particular dressing is quite strong and rich. Serve family-style or individually topped with a bit more shichimi tōgarashi or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.

Serves 4 - 6, plus leftover dressing.

Inspired by a recipe in Harumi Kurihara's Everyday Harumi. Published by Conran, 2009.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Such a sweet combination. The tofu and asparagus is kinda unique to see .... easy to prepare. You never fail!:D

The Artist Chef (Joanie)

This looks incredible, and is my top "just for me" recipe to make! I have got to find some good miso paste!

Trish in MO

Ooh nice! I've been on a miso dressing kick myself. Such an easy way to help digestion and eat something delicious at the same time :-)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I like that though the ingredients are new to me but I'll try it this evening for my dinner. I like new things. Thanx!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You recipes never fail to make me hungry. You are my got to site for healthy and delicious.

Casey Angelova

tried this last night. it was super yummy! thanks for sharing! it was easy, tasty and fabulous. i added fresh grated ginger to the sauce which blended nicely with the other ingredients. looking forward to trying other things on your blog.


This looks delicious!


so...regarding tofu - which kind did you use? the harder stuff or the softer stuff?? I'm very new to the whole tofu scene... HS: Hi Gaynell, I used a very firm tofu. I'll update the recipe to reflect that.


I was just standing in front of the miso at the co-op today, wondering if I'm ready for it. Now I _have_ to go back and get it! Thanks for taking the time to post this recipe!

Anne Marie

This does look like the perfect proper light spring dinner! Thank heavens I've finally become confident enough with my tofu-draining technique to attempt it.

The Nervous Cook

@Peg: It is a myth that alcohol completely burns off in cooking...it depends on when it is added and how long it is cooked. People with health issues with alcohol and those who just have issues with alcohol in general may not want to chance it. That said, sake is difficult to substitute for. It has a unique flavor that there is really no non-alcoholic replication I have found. I have used everything from rice vinegar with a little sugar to fruit juices (usually orange or pineapple) and various mixtures thereof. The flavor is not the same, but not necessarily bad. Alcohol is one of those things that you have to accept that nothing will quite replace it, but I have usually managed to find substitutes along the way - as long as my goal is to modify the recipe to meet my needs and not duplicate the taste (which isn't going to happen) I manage quite nicely without alcohol in my cooking.

CJ :)

I also loved the Times link. I've been looking for a good Japanese cookbook, guess I've found one!

Rocky Mountain Woman

Thank you for linking to the Times article-- it was very enjoyable to get some background on Ms. Kurihara and on current Japanese culture. This recipe also looks fabulous! One of the reasons that I eat miso is for its probiotic benefits, so I will add the miso to the the reduced liquid by pressing it through a strainer with the back of a spoon. Unpasteurized miso should be kept below boiling temperature to avoid killing the beneficial microbes; pasteurized miso doesn't contain the microbes, so boiling doesn't change its properties.


Wow - here I am, contemplating an afternoon snack, and now all I want is this! Yum!


Love this plate! Gonna have it for lunch tomorrow


This recipe looks simply divine. I want to make it but does it matter what brand of miso I use? What is awase miso?


This is a great way to use miso. I love this type of easy nutritious meal that uses seasonal vegetables.

Susan Kessler

I wish this was in my lunch today. I love this kind of simple, fresh meal. And I suspect it would be equally good cold.

The Rowdy Chowgirl

Thanks! I'm always looking for a new (easy) way to use miso.

Crystal Fox

I too had heard that about miso, that it should be added after the other ingredients had boiled. My Japanese-cook mentor also told me to press it through a fine strainer to make sure there were not hard pieces in it. For what it's worth. This practice makes it easier to mix in the miso, in any case. As for the sake, I too don't consume alcohol, but the alcohol surely boils off in this recipe.

Peg Lewis

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