MAKES: About 1 cup (4 servings)

TIME: 15 minutes

Richer and more subtle than Ponzu Sauce or other soy-based dipping sauces, this is perfect for dunking or dressing heartier foods like boiled or grilled potatoes, whole wheat pastas, and Meatless Meat balls. Serve it in small bowls for dipping sauce or as a dressing or standard sauce.

The type of miso you choose (see The Basics of Miso) will make this sauce lighter or heavier, but it’s good all ways. Warm it gently on the stove if you like; just don’t let it come to a boil or you will weaken the flavor.

6 tablespoons miso paste

3/4 cup warm water or sake

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon mirin or honey

1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or more to taste

Salt

Put everything except the salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Taste and add more vinegar and salt if needed.

Serve immediately, heat gently, or chill in the refrigerator. Covered tightly, the sauce will keep for about a week.

Variations

Simple Miso Herb Dipping Sauce. Lots of bang for your buck: Add 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, basil, Thai basil, or mint or a combination. For a smooth green sauce, combine everything in the blender.

Simple Miso Citrus Dipping Sauce. Brighter and fresher: Instead of the rice vinegar, add a tablespoon or two of freshly squeezed lemon, lime, orange or tangerine juice. If you like, finely grate some zest and float a sprinkle on top of each little bowl.

Simple Miso Soy Dipping Sauce. A no-brainer: Add a tablespoon or two of soy sauce to the main recipe or either of the preceding variations.