If you’ve had miso soup, then perhaps you’ll know what it’s made of. As BFF Asian Grill puts it, toppings like tofu, seaweed, and green onions all swim in a bowl of warm broth, often made with a combination of dashi and miso. So instead of vegetable broth for risotto, you can turn to miso broth (either without dashi or with kombu dashi, which is vegan-friendly and uses dried kelp, per Just One Cookbook).
But why miso broth, though? What’s wrong with regular ol’ vegetable broth? Well, as TheKitchn puts it, there are three major problems you may run into with vegetable broth, which are aroma, salt content, and color, all of which may be too high or too much for risotto. And that’s where miso broth shines, especially when it comes to flavor. Risotto enhanced with miso takes on a more savory quality with the perfect levels of salt, and the smell and color will be a little better, too (compared to vegetable broths).
Flavors aside, America’s Test Kitchen notes that miso also helps to thicken risotto nicely, as it adds a boost of creaminess. They recommend using ⅓ cup of white miso with 3 cups of water and 4 cups of vegetable broth, while TheKitchn suggests 2 tablespoons of white miso paste with 6 cups of water. So it’s up to you whether you’d like to combine miso paste with vegetable broth or use it on its own with water.