28 Nov 2016 in Food Culture
Even if it takes origins in China, miso is clearly synonymous with Japanese gastronomy. Discover its recipe!
When the conversation turns to Japanese cuisine, everyone can mention miso. It is not only an ingredient but also an essential seasoning in Japanese food. Miso comes from China, but the Japanese came up with their own recipe more than a thousand years ago.
A complex process
The preparation of miso is a two-steps process. The first step is to make the koji: a parboiled rice with a culture of aspergillus oryzae, a fungus that facilitates the transformation of starch into sugar. Next step consists in cooking the soy beans: they should be steamed, crushed and then added to the koji, with salt and water. Put all ingredients into a vat (or, more traditionally, in cedar casks) for fermentation, lasting anywhere from 15 days to four months, at a temperature of 25-30°.
An ever-present ingredient
Due to its manufacturing process, miso is rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins. It is a first-rate seasoning which can replace salt, or bring out the flavour of meals and vegetables. It is a key ingredient in “vinaigrette” and sauces, and is of course used in making the famous miso soup. The chef at Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone uses miso in a wonderful beef dish on a kaiseki menu: cubes of meat are seared in a cast-iron skillet, then coated in miso paste before being plunged into water. The vegetables are cooked in the resulting stock. The beef and vegetables are served with the yolk of an egg, and the creamy texture and delicate flavour… It’s a true revelation for your senses!