Posts tagged ‘Miso’

June 21, 2012

How to make your own Miso

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

It is midwinter today, and in Japan you are supposed to eat pumpkin on a midwinter day.

Also, we’ve been told to put Yuzu (a Japanese citrus that looks like lime but yellow on the outside and a bit sweeter) in out bathtubs. Both of them would keep our body warm and keep away the cold!

Today, I thought it is the right timing to mind my miso that I prepared in Feb/March.

Every year, I make my own miso, and this year I am giving it a try in Sydney for the first time.
20120621-142420.jpg Miso making is really simple. All you need is 3 ingredients.

-Soy bean

-Salt

-Koji (rice malt)

 

My concern was, “I wonder if I can buy Koji in Sydney?”.

 

Luckily, one of the Japanese supermarkets in Artamon carried some dry Koji and I was able to prepare it at home!

 

Miso is supposed to be made during the cold season in Japan(Around October to March) and ready by autumn. I am following the Japanese calender but since the season is completely opposite, I was a bit worried how my miso would turn out.

 

When I did the “Tenchi-Kaeshi”, which means flipping the miso “up-side-down”, it looked OK, a bit softer than what I usually make.

 

I have to rest this for 3 more months before I can eat it. Hopefully, we can enjoy home-made miso this year!

 

If you are interested in making miso, I might do a miso-cooking class this year! The only problem would be that you won’t be able to eat what you’ve made for….6 months! It takes time, but this time gives it great taste, just like wine 🙂

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May 13, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge : Day 3

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

It’s the 3rd day of my cooking challenge, and I’ve added 1 item, tofu! Yes, that was necessary to cook tonight’s dinner. Can you tell where it is used?

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The menu for tonight is:

-Home made fish cake with edamame

-Carrot and Celery “Kinpira”(Vegan)

-Chickpea in Miso and Mayo sauce(Vegetarian, not vegan because I used mayonnaise)

-Broccoli in sesame dressing(Vegan)

-Celery rice(Vegan)

-Tofu miso soup(Can be made vegan but I used bonito flakes today, so this is only vegetarian)

Very basic Japanese dinner, yet really easy to cook.  Full of proteins, vitamins and mineral!

Believe it or not, Yumi ate 2 bowl of rice today. It must have been yummy!

April 25, 2012

Some basic ingredients

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

I was looking in my pantry and wondering,

“What is the most important ingredient for me to cook Japanese/Vegetarian food?”

I’ve thought about this before, and time to time, mentioned about it in my blog, but the top 3 would be

1)Soy sauce

2)Miso

3)Sake (Cooking rice wine)

 

Today, I want to write about Miso.

Miso is a thick paste made from soy beans, salt and malt. You can make it yourself, and this year, I have “cooked” 4kg at home in Sydney.

Here, I prepared organic soy beans, macrobiotic sea salt and “KOUJI”, dried rice malt that I miraculously found in a Japanese grocery shop in Artarmon.

 

Malt is used in many forms in Japan. It is essential to create Sake(Japanese traditonal alcohol) ,Miso, Pickles, and even Soy sauce. Through fermentation, it gives a wonderful flavor that can not be expressed in words, and you can not imagine how happy I was to find this precious ingredient.

Unfortunately, I could only find it once, and is hoping that they will import it once again. Then, I can introduce how to make your own Miso on this blog too!

 

Even in Japan, not everyone makes miso at home. People like me who enjoys cooking would do so, so I do have a group of friend making miso every year. After “cooking” it, we have to wait at least 6 month for the fermentation process to happen, but I believe it’s worth the wait, and the more you wait, the better taste it becomes. It’s like wine! You need patience, love and passion to make these kind of things.

 

If you are more practical, and would like something handy, I recommend to buy either Barley miso or Shiro-miso.

 I am out of my Barley miso, so here is a photo of my Shiro-miso. Shiro-miso means “White miso” and compared to most miso, it is a bit sweeter. This is why you can use it in other cooking apart from miso soup!

 

Some of you may have realized that in Japanese cooking, we add sweetness by using raw sugar or Mirin(sweet cooking wine). In Japan, I hardly used sugar, but living in Sydney, and introducing Japanese food in English, I thought “Hey, I’m using way too much sugar”. This is because most Japanese food in Sydney is made much sweeter than it is in Japan, and I thought I should cook something to match your taste.

However, now that Yumi is eating like us, and I don’t want her sugar consumption to increase, so I am shifting a bit back to my basic cooking, and try to use less sugar. So, in that way, I would be using shiro-miso more often in my food. I hope you can find it and learn to use it!

 

Miso is not only for miso soup, it has many more possibility to it, and I hope you can find your favorite cooking with it! Enjoy your cooking!

 

NOTE: The brand I buy is called SPIRAL, and I bought it at Mr. Vitamins for under $9 a pack. You can buy other brand shiro-miso from places like Honest to Goodness, an organic shop that I buy most of my beans from. At Honest to Goodness, a 400g packet was $14.50 online, so it is not that cheap, but the taste is definitely worth it!

 

March 26, 2012

Tomato and Miso Paste

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

When you try to cook “foreign” food, one of the difficulty you face is where and how to prepare the ingredients. I had a similar experience many times, especially when trying to cook Asian foods. Their recipes tend to use exotic spices and fresh produces that are too difficult to find or substitute!

The next difficulty you face is, how to use up some ingredients! You only need “2 teaspoon” or “1 tablespoon”  of spices and sauces to make a particular dish, but it is so essential you buy a packet/bottle/box of something, and it lies in the kitchen for,,,, how long?

Sensible part of you tells you not to buy so many new flavor, yet the cooking desire is sometimes too strong and irresistible, you can’t help yourself reaching for a new taste.

I understand those feelings sooooo well, today I am going to show you how to “use up” some seasonings. The topic for today is Miso.

I just made my own miso this weekend, the taste test will be held 6 months from now, and looking at the 1.8kg batch (second time this year, so I have nearly 4 kg miso for next season!) I felt so happy! At the same time, I was thinking, if you only new how to use miso in a miso soup, you would never be able to use it up.

Usually, miso is sold in a 400-500g packet, and to make miso soup, you would use 1/2 Tablespoon per person to season it. So, unless you drink miso every day, it would take quite a while to use it up.

I use miso in a lot of my recipes, something different from soy sauce, and it goes well with many vegetables. Today, I will recommend how to make tomato and miso paste that  can be used in different recipes and  is handy to have in the fridge (will last for a week to 10days kept in a sterilized jar)

Ingredients (to make 3-4 dishes)

-2 Tomatoes

-2 Tablespoon Miso

-2 Tablespoon Olive oil

-1 teaspoon Soy sauce

Step 1: Burn the skin of tomatoes until black, peel off skin and cut into 1cm cubes.

Step 2: Mix everything in a bowl and keep in sterilized jar.

To use this sauce, here are some simple recipes.

 

Cut broccoli into small bite size, stir fry on non stick pan for 3min, mix 2-3 Tablespoon of the sauce and cook for extra 1min over heat and serve! You can do the same with round beans or asparagus.

This sauce can be mixed 1:1 with vinegar and makes great dressing that will match anything from tofu to noodles to  steamed vegetables.

Very tasty and very healthy. I hope you enjoy it!!

March 25, 2012

Eggplant in Miso and Sesame paste

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

One of my favorite vegetable is eggplant! I love them so much, and use it in many different styles of cooking from Japanese to Chinese to Italian to Indian, and feel that I can eat it everyday!

But in Japan, we have a saying

“Never give eggplants to the new bride”

not to be mean and stingy, but to show consideration to the young bride. Because eggplants are type of a vegetable that can “cool” your body, and for young girls, it is preferred to keep their body temperature “warm”.

Nevertheless, I eat it often, but try to have it with ginger or other body warming vegetables if possible.

The recipe I am about to introduce today is so good that I have to stop myself from eating the whole bowlful! It has a hint of  ginger and chili powder to keep you “hot”! Goes well as an accent on a dinner plate, since it has a strong flavor to it. I served it with marinated capsicum, broccoli cooked in garlic oil and marinated chicken. All four of these were put on plate under 30min, with rice and miso soup to complete the dinner!

Ingredients

-1 Large Eggplant

-1/4 Carrot

-1/4 Lebanese Cucumber

-1 Tablespoon sesame, roasted and grounded

-1/2 teaspoon Chili powder

-1 teaspoon  Sesame oil

-1 teaspoon Soy sauce

-1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped

-1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped

-1 Tablespoon Miso

-1 Tablespoon Apple vinegar

To make it,

Step 1: Boil or roast the eggplant and remove skin, tear into bite size pieces, chop carrot and cucumber into thin slices and rest on tea towel to remove excess water

Step 2: Mix everything in a bowl to make dressing, add vegetables and mix well

Serve and Enjoy! I think you can add cooked vermicelli to this, and would make a great salad with more volume. Or put it on top of somen/udon noodles and mix it eat it like a Asian style pasta! Yum, the combination is endless!!

February 23, 2012

Miso Dengaku (Tofu and Vegetables with Miso sauce)

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

This is one of my favorite dish! Miso Dengaku is usually made with tofu and sweet tasting miso paste. It could also be made with eggplants, or “konnyaku(konjak)”, jelly‐like food made from the starch of devil’s tongue (devil’s tongue is a name of a flower). Miso paste can be made in different ways, personally, I like to combine Yuzu citrus, but since I can’t find Yuzu in Sydney, today I made a basic one.

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Ingredients for 2 people (the photo is for 1)

-300-400g Firm Tofu (Momen)

-1 Eggplant (not the thin baby type, but choose the big fat round one!)

For Miso paste

-1 Tablespoon Miso

-1 Tablespoon Sake

-1 1/2 Organic Maple Syrup

(NOTE:Usually, this paste is made with Mirin and Sugar, but I substituted that with Maple Syrup. The result was just as nice, so I think I would stick to this recipe 🙂 )

 

Sesame and shallots are additional  as garnish.

 

To cook is easy and quick as usual!

 

Step 1: Cut Eggplants and tofu into squares, about 5cm  square and 2cm thick,  cook on a non stick frying pan with a little bit of oil, always on low heat.

Step 2: While the eggplant is cooking (it takes a while) , mix the sauce ingredients (miso, sake and maple syrup) in a small sauce pan and cook on low heat until it thickens. This does not take long and WILL BURN if you don’t keep your eye on it, so stay close and stir with a spatula occasionally.

Step 3: Place tofu and vegetable on plate, spread sauce and garnish if desired!

 

It can be served hot or cold, works as a good starter. The tofu and vegetables can be skewered with a bamboo skewer, and makes great finger food at parties or your next BBQ!

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

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