Miso Caesar Salad with Crispy Panko

Classic Caesar salad is already an umami bomb thanks to briny anchovies and Worcester sauce. Here, we add a hefty dose of miso to the dressing for a sweet/salty twist. Instead of croutons, try these buttery, lemony panko breadcrumbs for the perfect crunch to lettuce ratio.

Making the panko crumble

Making traditional croutons involves cutting stale bread, tossing in olive oil and spices, and baking until crisp. I don’t always have bread in the house, so these panko breadcrumbs have become my new favorite way to add crunch to salads. Panko breadcrumbs are are pantry staple for me, so I am always only 5 minutes away from having these crispy morsels ready to top any salad. Simply saute the breadcrumbs in butter until very browned and season with chili flakes, lemon zest, and freshly grated Parmesan.

Kewpie: the king of mayonnaise

Kewpie, a Japanese brand of mayo, uses only egg yolks, compared to American mayo which uses whole eggs. Traditional Ceasar dressing uses egg yolks to emulsify the savory sauce, so Kewpie is the perfect shortcut to making the delectably creamy condiment. It also contains a healthy dose of MSG for some serious umami. It’s pretty common knowledge now that MSG-phobia is unfounded and based on antiquated evidence (“Chinese restaurant syndrome” is not only racist but untrue). If you need convincing, check out this article on the science of MSG (hint: it’s naturally occurring in many of our favorite vegetables and doesn’t cause headaches). You can buy Kewpie at your local Japanese market or online.

kewpie mayo

Miso Caesar Salad with Crispy Panko

Recipe by Molly MossCourse: Appetizers, SaladsCuisine: Japanese, ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3-4

servings
Total time

30

minutes

Classic Caesar salad is already an umami bomb thanks to briny anchovies and Worcester sauce. Here, we add a hefty dose of miso to the dressing for a sweet/salty twist. Instead of croutons, try these buttery, lemony panko breadcrumbs for the perfect crunch to lettuce ratio.

Ingredients

  • For the panko topping
  • 2 tbsp butter

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

  • ¼ tsp chili flakes

  • ⅛ cup freshly grated parmesan

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the miso caesar dressing
  • 2 oil packed anchovies filets

  • 1 small clove garlic, grated

  • ¼ cup kewpie mayo

  • 1.5 tsp miso paste

  • Juice of 1 lemon (meyer preferred)

  • Lots of freshly ground pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • For the salad
  • 2 heads little gem lettuce

  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 2-3 tbsp miso caesar dressing

Directions

  • First, make the panko topping
  • Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter and let melt. And the panko and stir regularly until the panko is browned and crispy, but not burnt, about 3 minutes. Add more butter throughout the process if needed.
  • Add the lemon zest, parmesan, and chili flakes and stir to combine.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Next, make the miso Caesar dressing
  • In a small mortar and pestle, add the anchovies and pound into a rough paste. Alternatively, finely mince the anchovies and add them to a small bowl.
  • Add the grated garlic, mayo, miso, and mayo and stir with a whisk or fork to combine thoroughly.
  • Add the lemon juice and freshly ground paper. Taste and add salt as needed. Set aside.
  • Finally, make the salad
  • Cut the bottom off of the lettuces and unfurl the leaves.
  • Add the lettuces to a large bowl along with the radishes.
  • Add 2 tbsp of dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing if needed.
  • Separate into plates or bowls and top with the panko crumble. miso caesar salad

Notes

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