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Many Ways to Use Miso

Many Ways to Use Miso

Wednesday, 9th July 2014

Miso, a paste made from fermented soybeans, salt and koji (cultured barley or rice) is so great for you’ll enhance your health if you incorporate it into your diet.

But if you don’t want miso soup every day, what can you do?  Well, there are lots of options. If you substitute miso for salt or add it to savoury dishes to create a richer flavour, you’ll find ways to incorporate it into everyday foods.

There are two types of miso: sweet miso, which is shorter fermented and cream or yellow in colour, and dark miso, like red, brown rice and barley miso.  Use sweet miso for a lighter flavor.  Dark miso is excellent in heavier autumnal stews and soups.

Miso is best not boiled as this will change the flavor and reduce the beneficial enzymes and microorganisms.  It is good to add it to some of what you are cooking, mix until it dissolves (it is a thick paste) and then add the mix back in.

Here are ways you can include it in your foods:

Beans

If you cook your own beans, instead of adding salt after they are cooked, add miso.  For 200g/1 cup dried beans or approximately 500g/2½ cup cooked beans, add 2 teaspoons of miso.  Great for beans that are going to be a dip, stew or quesadilla.

Burgers

Mix into beef/chicken/tofu mince for meatballs or burgers.  Use in fishcakes instead of salt.

Coffee/Tea

It may sound strange, but instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or tea, have a miso drink instead.  It is satisfying, will do you good and even give you a bit of energy.  Put 2 teaspoons of miso in a mug, pour in some boiling water, mix until dissolved and then pour in the rest of the water.

Dressing

For salads or on steamed/raw vegetables, mix miso with oils such as olive, sesame, toasted sesame or flax, add some lemon juice or brown rice vinegar and then other ingredients like crushed garlic, grated ginger or toasted sesame seeds.

Grains

After cooking grains like barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa or rice, mix in miso instead of salt.  For 200g/1 cup of grain, use 2 teaspoons of miso.

Grilling/Roasting

Slice a small aubergine, courgette, yellow squash or other vegetable in half lengthwise, brush with miso and grill or roast on a high heat until tender.  Try on shrimp, fish, chicken, meats and tofu/tempeh.

Marinade

Mix miso with chopped/grated ginger, toasted sesame oil and vinegar/lemon juice for a vegetable or fish marinade.

Mash

Instead of salt, mix a few teaspoons of sweet white miso into mashed vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac and carrot.

Pesto

Use miso instead of Parmesan or salt to make pesto .

Sandwich/Toast/Wrap

Move over marmite!  Try miso on toast – or miso and tahini on toast.  For an easy snack/lunch, add slices of avocado, tomato, red onion, sprouts and/or grated carrot.  Or put it all on a soft tortilla/wrap and roll it up.

Sauce

Whether it’s spaghetti sauce or a marinade for fish or meats, put some of the sauce in a small cup, add miso and mix until combined.  Return the cupful into the sauce and mix well.

Soup/Stew

When soup has finished cooking, simply put some of the stock in a cup, add two teaspoons of miso, mix until dissolved and add back into the pot (if you re-heat, miso may be simmered briefly).

Why not check out my Miso blog for a great salad dressing.

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