This easy miso lime dressing is an Asian-inspired vinaigrette with a bright and flavourful profile. It’s a versatile dressing great for salads, grain bowls, roasted vegetables and more.
Best of all? It only needs a handful of ingredients and takes less than a minute to pull together!
Miso paste forms the base of the vinaigrette. It’s a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine and one that I use almost daily. The fermented soybean paste adds a salty, sweet and umami flavour for a bold yet balanced salad dressing.
The miso-based dressing also has a balance of sweet and tangy flavours from honey and lime juice. And toasted sesame oil and olive oil add a nutty flavour and creamy texture.
Why you’ll love miso lime dressing
This simple salad dressing is a delicious way to dress up salads, grain bowls and veggie dishes. But here are more reasons to love it:
- It only needs a few simple ingredients: The vinaigrette recipe requires simple, wholesome ingredients like sesame oil, miso paste and freshly squeezed lime juice.
- It’s easy to make: Whisk or shake the ingredients together for a quick salad dressing that’s ready in one minute.
- It’s versatile: This simple miso lime dressing is a great base for other dressings. Add a bit of garlic, ginger or wasabi for a spicier dressing. Or switch up the oil and vinegar for endless variations.
- It is suitable for a range of dietary requirements: The miso vinaigrette is naturally dairy-free. It can easily be made into a vegan salad dressing by swapping the honey for maple syrup. And opt for gluten-free miso paste if you need a gluten-free dressing.
Miso lime dressing ingredients and substitutes
This easy miso dressing recipe only requires a few simple ingredients:
- Toasted sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil adds a rich nutty flavour to the dressing. Use good quality sesame oil for the best flavour.
- Mild-flavoured olive oil: I use a mild extra-virgin olive oil. Use a neutral oil like sunflower or canola oil if your olive oil is particularly pungent. Avocado oil is also a great vegetable oil for salad dressings.
- White miso paste: White miso paste is mild and fruity, but you can use red or yellow miso paste for a more intense umami flavour. Or try a miso paste alternative if you’ve run out.
- Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice adds a zesty and refreshing flavour that I adore. But you can also use lemon juice, rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar for acidity if limes are not in season.
- Honey, or maple syrup: I use honey for a touch of sweetness and delicate flavour. But you can also use maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave syrup for a plant-based alternative.
Easy recipe variations
This citrusy miso dressing with its zingy flavour and creamy texture is so versatile. Here are some variations you can try:
- Miso ginger dressing: Add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to the vinaigrette for that fresh ginger zing.
- Miso sesame dressing: Substitute the olive oil with more toasted sesame oil for an even nuttier flavour. You can even add a tablespoon of tahini with a tablespoon of water to create an ultra-creamy miso tahini dressing. And sprinkle the dressing with toasted sesame seeds.
- Peanut butter miso dressing: Stir in a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. Then add cold water, one teaspoon at a time, until you have a pouring consistency.
How to make miso lime dressing
Homemade miso and lime dressing is a great addition to salads, stir-fries, or soba noodle salad.
And it comes together in two easy steps.
Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste, lime juice, sesame oil and honey. Or, if you prefer, put the ingredients in a clean mason jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake until well combined.
Step 2: Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I usually add ¼ teaspoon of each.
Miso dressing serving suggestions
The tart, sweet, and umami flavours of miso salad dressing will add depth to any dish. It elevates light salads and lifts deeply flavoured roasted vegetable dishes.
Salads: Drizzle this miso lime dressing over a simple green salad or kale salad. Salad leaves like baby spinach, romaine lettuce and arugula work well with this dressing.
Grain Bowls: This miso lime dressing adds instant flavour to grain bowls. Try it with a quinoa, chickpea and avo bowl, or a farro and roasted vegetable bowl.
Noodle salads: Toss cooked and cooled soba noodles with the dressing and add any veggies lurking in the back of your fridge. Add nut butter or tahini if you want a thicker dressing that clings to the noodles.
Roasted Vegetables: Drizzle this miso lime dressing over roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, or butternut squash. I especially love the zesty dressing with charred broccolini. The dressing adds a bright flavour and helps to bring out the sweetness of the roasted vegetables.
I like to make a big batch of this miso lime dressing and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Be sure to whisk it or shake it before using.
Frequently asked questions
Miso salad dressing is typically made from a combination of miso paste, rice vinegar or lime juice, sesame oil, and honey. Other popular combinations include miso tahini dressing or fresh ginger miso dressing.
Lime dressing is typically a combination of lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. For extra flavour, you can add more ingredients such as honey, soy sauce, or chilli paste for a chilli lime dressing.
Miso paste adds a deep, savoury flavour to dishes. The strong salty, umami flavour of miso paste elevates the flavour of soups, sauces and marinades in Japanese cooking.
Miso has a savoury flavour with a hint of sweetness. Its flavour profile is similar to that of soy sauce but with a nuttier, richer taste. White miso paste also has an acidic yet sweet fruity flavour reminiscent of apricots.
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil , or neutral vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste *
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice , from 1 juicy lime
- 1 teaspoon honey , or maple syrup
- salt and black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste, lime juice, sesame oil and honey. Or put the ingredients in a clean mason jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake well.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I add a ¼ teaspoon each.
- Refrigerate leftover vinaigrette in an airtight container for up to a week. Whisk or shake the container vigorously before using.
- White miso paste is mild and fruity, but you can use yellow or red miso paste for a more intense umami flavour.
- See ingredients and substitutes for more substitutes, or try a few recipe variations.