Miso-Braised Parsnip Recipe

Parsnips don't really get the love they deserve. Hardy, thick root vegetables that they are, parsnips tend to take a backseat to more universally loved potatoes and carrots, despite being very similar foods. If you're not familiar, parsnips look like bleached carrots and have a texture similar to potatoes when cooked. Taste-wise they're quite different from the two, fragranced with a mild sweetness and distinct almost-anise peppery flavor. Because of the unusual flavor, parsnips aren't considered as versatile as their squash-forward neighbors, but this recipe is here to prove that wrong.

Developed by Michelle McGlinn, this miso-braised parsnip recipe is a bold, spicy, and flavorful dish that puts parsnips at center stage. It's completely vegan, making it a great dish to have in your back pocket for holidays, get-togethers, and summer soirées. The spice of the gochujang is balanced with nutty miso and bright lemon juice, then simmered in the umami of shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce. The parsnips braise gently in the broth until fall-apart tender, perfect for scooping up with sticky rice. It's a bold dish, and a recipe your vegan and vegetarian guests will thank you for serving.

Gather the ingredients for miso-braised parsnips

To make this recipe, you'll just need olive oil, shiitake mushrooms, a few cloves of garlic, gochujang, lemon juice, vegetable broth, soy sauce, white miso, cumin seeds, and parsnips. Shiitakes match the flavors of the dish best, but you can swap for less expensive mushrooms like baby bella or button as needed. White miso, or shiro miso in this recipe, can be found in Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated section, often near the tofu or noodles. If you only have red miso on hand, that will work here too, but the spicy flavors will be more intense. Whole cumin seeds are best here for lightly fragrancing the broth, but if you only have ground cumin, that will work, too.

Build a spicy base

Cook the mushrooms in oil until browned and glossy, then drop in the garlic to release the delicious aroma. After a minute or two, stir in the gochujang. The gochujang will soften in the heat and combine smoothly into the mushrooms, then begin to caramelize. As it caramelizes, it will start to stick to the bottom of the pot. As this happens, squeeze in the lemon juice, add the soy sauce, drop in the miso, then whisk it all together with broth. Sprinkle in the cumin and stir until smooth.

Braise the parsnips

If you have a braising pan, which looks like a long, shallow, squashed Dutch oven, fitting the parsnips in will be a little easier for you. If you only have a Dutch oven, this will look a little awkward, but don't worry. The steam will cook even the parsnips at the top.

The trick to ensuring all the parsnips are flavored with miso broth is to coat them with broth before covering the pot. You can do this by ladling the broth over the parsnips or by slowly stirring the parsnips so they all get tossed in broth. Once the parsnips are all moist, cover the pot and let the mixture simmer for about an hour.

Reduce the broth

After an hour, the parsnips should be sufficiently tender, even at the very top. Remove the lid, give the parsnips another gentle stir (this time it may be a little trickier, because the parsnips are much softer) then cook away for another 30 to 40 minutes. In this time, the broth will reduce, making a spoonable sauce to serve the parsnips with. It won't be super thick, but the brothy sauce is a must-have for extra spicy flavor.

Serve the parsnips over rice

You can eat this as-is, but like beef short ribs or braised oxtail, this dish goes best with a carb. Since parsnips are similar to starchy potatoes already, we recommend serving with rice, especially because the rice will help cool the spice of the gochujang broth. Place parsnips over rice, then ladle the sauce and mushrooms over top and sprinkle with cilantro or scallions as desired. This dish pairs perfectly with broccoli salad, light and crunchy spring rolls, or even alongside chickpea stew. Instead of puréeing parsnips into a mashed side dish again and again, give this bold and delicious entrée a try.

Miso-Braised Parsnip Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
These miso-braised parsnips feature a gochujang-infused sauce, packing the ideal hit of spice in the frequently overlooked (but delicious!) root vegetable.
Prep Time
Cook Time
parsnip and rice on a plate
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ½ ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white (shiso) miso
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 8 large parsnips, halved or quartered
Optional Ingredients
  • white rice, for serving
  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or braising pot over medium heat. Once hot, add mushrooms and cook until glossy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes longer.
  2. Add the gochujang and stir well to combine. Once combined and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pot, add the lemon juice, vegetable broth, soy sauce, miso, and cumin. Whisk to combine the miso into the broth, then bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the parsnips, submerging as much as possible. Carefully stir the parsnips to coat each one in broth, then cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 1 hour, or until the parsnips on top are very soft.
  4. Once the parsnips are fork tender, remove the lid and cook for another 30-40 minutes, until the broth is reduced to a thick sauce. To serve, ladle parsnips and mushrooms over rice, if desired, then ladle the sauce over the parsnips.
Calories per Serving 370
Total Fat 9.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 67.0 g
Dietary Fiber 17.7 g
Total Sugars 17.5 g
Sodium 1,394.1 mg
Protein 8.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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