EASY Miso recipes

Spicy miso eggplant/aubergine

Spicy miso eggplant/aubergine

Miso is a lovely healthy way of flavouring meals. It's easy to use, and pretty easy to get these days. (But if you're after a yummy vege curry, see here)

Even the major supermarkets carry miso, mirin and cooking sake - the main ingredients in most miso-based dishes.

Traditionally, Japanese meals are based on rice and miso soup with 3-5 side dishes to give a variety of ingredients and therefore nutrients. Within those meals, only one would be miso based, one would be a protein, one would be pickles, maybe a salad or strewed vegetable dish, possibly a hotpot in the cooler weather. I have previously shared a warming winter pickle recipe here.

Being fermented, miso has a wide variety of health benefits, as it helps restore balance to our gut microbes and therefore helps digestion, which helps energy levels and mental health. Ayurvedically speaking, fermented foods build heat, which sounds great to me on these cold days!

With our miso base, we can make a few of different meals all from the same base. Here's the key:

"mix some miso with enough mirin to make it smoother"

 

For the vegans or dairy-free dying for something-kind-of-cheese-like ;) : Miso Marinated Tofu

  • to reduce water content of tofu, either wrap in paper towels and microwave 2-3mins; or place on a plate with something heavy on top for an hour or 2, pouring the water away as necessary

  • mix some miso with enough mirin to make it a little smoother

  • slice tofu 1.5-2cm thick and lather paste over slices (I use silken tofu. Harder tofu gives harder 'cheese')

  • wrap in paper towels and plastic wrap

  • put in container in fridge for 24-48hrs, turning at half time

  • wipe off paste and serve with crackers, sun dried tomatoes, olives etc

This recipe was originally taken from here. There are pictures to give you an idea of what it should look like - my pictures didn't look too appertising! lol I'll try again next time I make it!

regular globular eggplant are also fine to use, just cut into slices then pie-shaped pieces so there is skin on all pieces

regular globular eggplant are also fine to use, just cut into slices then pie-shaped pieces so there is skin on all pieces

For the eggplant lovers: Spicy Miso eggplant

  • chop eggplant into slightly larger than bit-sized pieces

  • mix some miso with enough mirin to make it a little smoother

  • add an appropriate amount of chilli for you and yours (I use bottled fresh but dried is fine)

  • stir fry eggplant in liberal amounts of oil of your choice

  • reduce heat to medium as the mirin will burn or stick if it is too hot

  • add miso, mirin & chilli mix and stir in until warmed through

  • serve with rice or a mixture of other Japanese dishes

For the carnivores: Miso marinated chicken thighs

  • mix some miso with enough mirin (and cooking sake, if you like) to make it a little smoother

  • it's even better if you grate an half an onion, some garlic and ginger then mix that into the miso blend as it helps tenderise the chicken even more

  • I recommend chicken thighs, but if using breasts, cut them through the middle so they are thinner for cooking.

  • Marinate chicken in miso mixed with all other ingredients for 2-24hours.

  • Cook over a medium to low heat as the sweetness of the mirin will lead to burnt bits. This is great done on the BBQ

  • once cooked, slice then serve on finely shredded sugarloaf cabbage with other Japanese side dishes, rice and miso soup.

Sorry no pictures - We always end up eating it before I realise I've forgotten to take pictures. Once again, I will try to get some pics next time I make it, but if I don't, just try making it - it's very good!

From left moving clockwise: miso, grated ginger, finely chopped garlic, grated onion at front

From left moving clockwise: miso, grated ginger, finely chopped garlic, grated onion at front

Both the eggplant and chicken recipes are adaptations from this book of easy Japanese drinking snack recipes.

Homemade Japanese food is delicious and can be very easy (and is not all raw fish!). Let us know if you'd like to learn more ;)