Saturday, May 28, 2011

Miso is Good Food

Miso is a Japanese product made by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt using the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. The most typical miso is made with soy. Miso is showing up practically everywhere thanks in large part to the Asian-pacific rim cuisine but also because it is so flavorful. Marinades, sauces, glaze, pasta and soups of all sorts have leveraged its versatility. Even the famous Delmonico fine restuarant is selling their Sweet Miso Marinade.

There are many versions of Miso but they generally fall into red, white, and Hatcho Miso with less water and salt content and made near Okazaki castle in Japan. Red miso is aged over a year the color of this miso changes gradually from white to red or even black. White miso is the most popular miso and is made with rice, barley, and a small quantity of soybeans and has abbreviated fermentation. The taste is sweeter than red miso but has less umami.

Miso, when fresh, has a shelf life and will be found in the refrigerated section of the Asian market. This is not to say that it is not available dried or unrefrigerated. I particularly like combining shallots, fresh minced ginger, and a good demi-glace when making rich sauces with miso but when doing so, I strain the results. Miso combines well with dashi soup stock and flecks of quality toasted nori.

Miso Sauce
1/3 Cup sake
1/3 Cup Mirin
¼ Cup a good sweet white miso (South River brand®)
1 Teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 Teaspoons brown sugar
1 Teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
1 Teaspoon Thai black soy sauce
3 Tablespoon of sweet butter, cut into patties

In a frying pan, reduce sake, Mirin with the white miso over medium-high heat by half. If you are baking a fish, add the run off juice from the pan when the fish has cooked. To finish, stir in the vinegar, sugar, (fish sauce if you like) and black soy. Take pan from heat and mount the sauce by swirling in the butter. Correct the seasonings. Garnish with fresh herbs.

No comments:

Post a Comment