Miso Butterscotch Sundae

Christina Tosi

Momofuku Milk Bar - NYC

Christina Tosi first created the unusual, slightly savory topping for this sundae when building the dessert menu for the Momofuku restaurant group. Seeking to bridge dinner and dessert, Tosi incorporated the flavor profile of the restaurants’ main dishes by transforming basic pantry staples into a sweet, salty, umami butterscotch-like spread. According to Tosi, the key is toasting and browning the shiro (white) miso, which adds depth to an otherwise one-note flavor. 


  • ¼ cup shiro miso
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 pint to vanilla ice cream
  • Toasted pecans for garnish
  • Cinnamon sugar for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Spread the miso in a thin, even layer on a Silpat-lined or greased baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The miso should be on the blackened side of browned and have an appetizingly burnt aroma.

Let the miso cool briefly so it’s easier to handle, then scrape it into a blender. Add the butter, brown sugar, mirin, and vinegar and blend until the mixture is homogenous and smooth. You’ve got miso butterscotch! Scrape the mixture into a bowl, or store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for weeks.

Assemble the sundaes: grab bowls or fancy fluted glasses. Put a dollop of miso butterscotch in the bottom of each, then add a scoop of ice cream, a fun garnish, and repeat: miso butterscotch, ice cream, garnish. Build it high to the sky!


Serves 4 to 6