If as far as you’ve ever gotten with miso was a simple soup before sushi, get ready to enchant your taste buds.
Miso sounds straightforward: a paste made from fermented soybeans, used by Chinese people over 2000 years ago. Later, the Japanese got creative and added rice to make a sweet miso or barley to make a more pungent flavor. Miso made up of soybeans, salt and rice, barley or wheat ferments in a barrel for at least 3 months or as long as several years. A good clue to its age and taste is the color: richer flavors and hues come with time.
Miso is a nutritional star: more protein than tofu, low in fat and high in enzymes. (To preserve these helpful enzymes, add miso right before serving to hot foods). Miso also contributes minerals and phytonutrients to the mix. And of course, miso is brimming with probiotics, possibly as many as a hundred different strains.
Beyond soup, many recipes benefit from a shot of miso. Find it in Asian supermarkets.
- Add a few tablespoons to any vinaigrette. Top salads, sandwiches or steamed vegetables.
- Add ¼ cup right before serving to bean or pea soups.
- Spread on celery or sliced cucumbers for appetizers.
- Add a bit to lentil burgers or even hamburgers if you eat meat.
Store any extra in the refrigerator and use within a few months.
For some tantalizing recipes go to onegreenplanet.org.