I am contractually prohibited from using the word “umami”….but…..if the miso fits…that’s what is bringing the special, deep savory flavor to your banana muffins…..then what can I do?

The special ingredient here is miso. Any old miso. The original recipe I used is Food52’s Malaysian foodblogger Jun&Tonic‘s recipe. It’s a banana bread that calls for white miso, but we pretty much usually have only red miso on hand in my fridge so that’s what I used. I also added powdered ginger and then chopped up candied ginger from Trader Joe’s. Because….candied ginger with miso. Obvs.


  • 3 to 4 (240g) overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 11/2 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

I stuck my butter in a glass mixing bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds, dumped in the sugars and the miso, and then used a fork to mix it thoroughly. Then I mashed in all but about half of a banana (half of the banana I sliced to put little medallions on top of each muffin but you could also just add it to the muffins), the vanilla extract, and the eggs. I mixed that with the fork well, mashing as I went.

At that point I had to get the flour, passed the oven on my way, and remembered to turn it on to 350 degrees. After lightly covering the top of my batter with the flour and baking powder, I switched to a spatula to fold in the flour, added the chopped ginger, and then put liners into my muffin pan.

The batter will be kind of loose and fluffy. I filled each liner full with my batter (the muffin tops spread nicely as they rose and baked and I should have used spray oil to make sure they didn’t stick to the top of the pan, so you might want to do that). Put a medallion of banana and some chopped ginger on top to signal muffin flavor, and then popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes, stuck in a toothpick to see if it was done (it wasn’t quite done), then put it back in for another 3 minutes for a slightly underbaked consistency. (so about 23 minutes or so with my oven).

Out of the oven they were a steaming, souffle like consistency with a really deep flavor. Perfect with my second stovetop latte of the day.