As I have recently mentioned, I start getting bored with Winter vegetables. On the other hand, as much as I enjoy cucumber kimchi or refreshing citrus drinks, they will never feed me or keep me warm as much as a hearty, thick, potato and carrot soup. A couple of days ago I had some leftover chicken stock and decided to make a quick soup with what I had in the fridge at the moment. I tasted it and felt something was missing. I opened the fridge, took a big tablespoon of miso and was thrilled to discover that this simple gesture gave my basic soup a sophisticated, fusion twist. As a big fan of miso, I have always found its complexity amazing, but I would have never suspected a tablespoon of this condiment can transform such a simple dish into something worth writing about.
For those who still haven’t used miso (味噌), this thick paste made by fermenting soybeans and/or barley or rice, is one of the most important ingredients of the Japanese cuisine. Miso has three main colour types: white (shiromiso), red (akamiso), black (kuromiso), and also mixed miso (awasemiso). In general, the lighter the colour, the more delicate the taste. There are myriads of different misos, depending on the brand, the ingredients, the region… Miso is very healthy, packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. Miso soup is usually the first dish in which foreigners discover this Japanese staple, but it’s also used in simmered dishes, as a seasoning for grilled fish and meat, in sauces, pickles…
Here are some other miso use ideas:
TIP: Adding the miso just before serving (not boiling it) preserves its precious nutrients.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves one):
200 ml chicken stock
1/2 chicken breast, sliced
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon miso (or more)
(soy sauce if the soup is not salty enough)
Put the stock, the carrot, the potato and the chicken into a small pan. Cook it for about 20 minutes until the potato cubes are cooked.
Put the pan aside and stir one tablespoon miso, making sure it is well dissolved.