If you want to add as much probiotics into your diet, then this Ginger-Miso Salad is for you. Miso is a fermented condiment that originated from Japan. It is made from soy beans, with salt and koji starter (Aspergillus oryzae). It can be used as an alternative for salt, soy sauce, fish sauce or tamari in your recipes. It adds saltiness and an umami taste to your dish.

It has several varieties depending on additional ingredients (like rice or barley), and duration of fermentation. As a general rule, the darker the miso is, the saltier and more intense its flavor is. It tends to have a very concentrated flavor so a little goes a long way. Miso contains about 630 milligrams of sodium in 1 tablespooon. This is about 25 percent of the recommended daily intake (2,400 milligrams).

As a fermented product, it contains probiotic cultures including lactic acid bacteria. These probiotic cultures are associated with a healthier gut flora and a healthier immune system in general. There are studies showing decreased duration of sickness or quicker recovery from upper respiratory infections in children taking probiotics.

In addition to miso, the dressing of this salad contains ginger. Ginger has been studied extensively, and is effective in digestive functions and anti-inflammatory functions. It has also been shown to improve lipid profiles and benefit glucose control in diabetic patients.

The dressing also contains nut butter which contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and keeps your cholesterol levels in check.

The WHO recommends eating about 5 servings of vegetables and fruits in a day, with the ideal ratio of 3 vegetables plus 2 fruits to complete your “5-a-day”. The combination is easily achieved with this recipe which has leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits.  

The dressing is so versatile, and goes well with other combinations of vegetables and fruits. Be adventurous and try it with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Make sure to ”eat the colors of the rainbow”!

Ginger-Miso Dressing:
Thumb sized ginger grated
1.5 tsp miso
1 lemon juiced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vinegar
3 Tbsp mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp pili nut butter (or other nut butter)
1.5 Tbsp olive oil

Romaine lettuce
Ripe papaya cubed
White shimmeji mushrooms
Grated carrots
Sliced red onions soaked in lemon juice

Nori Strips, Roasted Sesame Seeds


  1. Soak chopped red onions in a little bit of lemon juice. Set aside for later.
  2. Combine ingredients for ginger-miso dressing in a small bottle and whisk, or cover and shake to mix. Set aside.
  3. Wash lettuce leaves, dry, and tear into bite sized pieces.
  4. Chop Ripe papaya into bite sized cubes. Shred carrots into thin strips.
  5. Rinse shimmering mushrooms and blanch with boiling water.
  6. Assemble the salad starting with a bed of romaine lettuce at the bottom, then layer then cover with the papaya cubes, shimmering mushrooms, grated carrots and pre-soaked red onion slices.
  7. Drizzle some ginger-miso dressing on top and garnish with nori strips and sesame seeds.