Sesame-miso sauce

Drizzle or dip your tacos in this addictive, savory condiment.

Thanks to the miso paste and toasted sesame seeds, this sauce adds a serious amount of umami to the nori “tacos.” Full of protein, vitamin K, copper, and manganese, miso is a healthy ingredient that is always worth having on hand. “When serving the sesame-miso sauce, know that a little goes a long way,” says Denver-based recipe developer Julia Heffelfinger. Luckily, the leftovers will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and can be drizzled over grain bowls or served with grilled meat, fish, or vegetables.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes about 1½ cups

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Photography by Robert Bredvad


½ cup sesame seeds
⅓ cup shiro (white) miso
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons agave syrup
½ cup water
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds over moderately-low heat until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently and keep an eye on them, as they can burn easily.

Once toasted, transfer the sesame seeds to a blender or food processor, and add the miso, mirin, rice vinegar, agave syrup, and ½ cup water. Purée until smooth, a minute or two, adding more water if needed (the sauce should have the consistency of a creamy salad dressing). Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Just before serving, swirl in the sesame oil.