Traditional Japanese cuisine is usually based on the rice with miso soup as well as other Japanese dishes and seasoning ingredients. Many people are wondering if Japanese dishes is all about the traditional miso soup or if miso is just a soup? Yes Miso can be a soup but No, it is not just a soup. In short, Miso isn’t just used for making Miso soup but can also be used in different Japanese dishes and each variety have different taste and flavor. In here, we will be talking about some of the most popular Japanese dishes using Miso recipes.
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What is a Miso?
Miso is a traditional seasoning in Japan. It is a fermented soybean paste and rice (Koji) with salt. Known for its savory notes called Umami (fifth flavor), it actually makes the dish tastes so deliciously satisfying.
Since the soybean paste or red paste is a little bit salty, you will only be needing a relatively small amount to add to your miso recipes. It usually tastes salty but with a lightly sweet taste.
Miso is available online and on grocery store, mostly Asian stores. It is often labeled as Miso Paste or Soybean paste. It is usually packed on a plastic tubs.
When purchasing Miso paste online, you can check on Amazon. A soybean paste from Shirakiku. It weighs about 2.06kg and the package includes 2 bags of Miso paste.
Different types and colors of Miso
There are different types of Miso, and each variety has its own distinctive taste that differs them from the rest. The darker the color of the paste, this means that fermentation time took longer and therefore the stronger its taste will actually be. Therefore when buying Miso, make sure to check the color of the paste, you will then know how strong or mild the Miso paste is.
White Miso (Shiro Miso)
White miso is also known as mellow or sweet miso. As mentioned, the lighter the color of the paste the shorter its fermentation time is (4 months to 1 year). With White miso, the taste is milder and less salty. Similar with other types of Miso, it is perfect for making soups, but can also be used in making sauces and dressings to dishes. Often used as a dairy recipes, such as miso mashed potato recipe.
Yellow Miso (Shinshu Miso)
Yellow Miso is still a milder type of Miso though it is fermented longer as compared to White miso. The color usually ranges from light yellow to light brown. It is also used as condiments, soups and glazes as well because of mild and earthy flavor.
Red Miso (Aka Miso)
Red Miso is the most popular Miso variety and widely used in dishes such as braises, soup, marinades and glazes.
This type of Miso is fermented longer (1 to 5 years) than other Miso types therefore it is more salty and has a pungent taste. The color of the paste ranges from deep red to brown.
Japanese Dishes Using Miso Recipes
Miso is commonly used in Japan’s traditional dish, the Japanese style miso soup. But Miso can also add flavor to marinades, used as gravy and other soup varieties such as Udon and ramen. Miso can also be used to add flavor to tofu and vegetable dishes as well. Listed below are the different ways to use miso in Japanese dishes.
Miso Soup is the most popular Japanese dish using Dashi (Soup Stock that is made with Bonito flakes) and miso (fermented paste). Other ingredients in making Miso soup includes vegetables, seaweed and tofu.
Grilled Miso Chicken
Marinading the chicken with Miso will make it more tender and even flavorful. An easy to make miso recipes. This is actually a simple miso recipes that is perfect for that wonderful BBQ experience with family and friends.
Since Miso is a versatile ingredient, you can use it to marinade your chicken as well, and not just for making soup. For this miso recipes, white miso will be used. Thigh part of the chicken is usually used since it is more juicer and flavorful than other chicken parts.
Miso Salmon is another delicious Japanese dish. It is usually made of salmon fillets that is marinated. The marinade is a mixture of sake, soy sauce and of course, Miso. The marinated salmon will then be cooked using the broiler.
Miso salmon is packed with different Umami flavor and miso glaze. Miso Glaze is a savory umami that is ideal for Japanese dishes such as tofu, salmon and vegetables.
Miso Salad Dressings
In making delicious miso salad dressing, you will need Miso. It is recommended to use yellow or white as it is more lighter and lesser salt. You will also be needing other ingredients such as: sesame oil, rice vinegar or white win, orange juice, soy sauce and maple syrup.
Japanese Ramen is made from chicken broth or pork broth that is mixed with different ingredients. If you want to add more delightful and intense flavor to your ramen, here’s a miso recipe for your ramen that you should try.
The ingredients for this miso ramen with egg includes: eggs, miso paste (you can use any kind of Miso paste), onions, garlic, green onions, carrots, mushrooms, napa cabbage and ramen noodles. For the broth, you can use either pork, beef or vegetable broth. Add some sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin and coconut milk to make the ramen creamy. Add soft boiled egg on the top if you like.
To create a beautiful base for your ramen it typically includes the broth, the meat and savory miso paste.
Shredded Chicken Salad with Miso Dressing
Shredded Chicken salad mixed with miso salad dressings will make your salad simply irresistible. The salad is consists of smoky bacon with shredded lettuce.
White miso is used for this dish because it has a more lighter but rich flavor.
Cauliflower Stir fry
Cauliflower stir fry is not only delicious but a nutritious dish as well. With miso paste added to the dish, it will make this cauliflower stir fry dish into a delicious meal that you will never forget.
The ingredients for making this dish are: Cauliflower, bell peppers, white onions and green onions. In making stir fry sauce, that’s when Miso paste comes in the picture, mix it with rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch. In this dish, it is recommended to use either the yellow miso.
Tofu Stir Fry
Another delicious dish that’s one for the books. Tofu Stir fry dish is considered to be a vegan friendly dish, you can use any type of vegetables. Tofu is main ingredient in this recipe. To make it more deliciously satisfying, the best stir fry sauce should be added
Different types of vegetables can be used with this Tofu Stir fry dish. You can use bell peppers (red and orange), Broccoli, onions, mushrooms (shiitake) and carrots. Additional vegetables includes cabbage, chopped Bok choy, Zucchini.
Creating the best stir fry sauce for your Tofu Stir fry dish, is simple and and requires less time. The ingredients used to make the stir fry sauce are soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, garlic powder and Miso.
Grilled Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a Cabbage, although usually used in Chinese cooking. But in here, miso sauce will be added to the Bok Choy to enhance its umami flavor.
Grilled Bok Choy is simple and easy to prepare. You will only be needing 4 main ingredients: Baby Bok Choy, Olive Oil, soy sauce and of course Miso. Since Miso has a creamy texture, it will definitely give your Bok Choy a flavorful taste.
By simply mixing all ingredients in a bowl, then evenly coating Bok Choy with the sauce. Grill coated Bok Choy on a grill that was preheated using medium to high heat. Grilling it for about 4 minutes each side, make sure not to overcook. When tender, serve when hot.
Boiled Squid with Miso Vinaigrette
This is a Japanese Style Tapas dish perfect as party appetizer. In Japan, one of the most common seafood used in Japanese dishes is the Squid. From Sashimi to sushi (popular in sushi restaurant(, Japanese loves to use squid in different ways of cooking. It can either be baked, grilled or deep fried whatever the cooking method is, Japanese has a way of turning this seafood a delicious meal.
Miso Vinaigrette used in this recipe has a sweet and tarty flavor that comes from the mirin and rice vinegar used. Aside from adding it to the boiled squid, you can also use Miso Vinaigrette to other dishes such as roasted vegetables or blanched vegetables, pork shabu shabu and a lot more.
Grilled corn with Miso Butter
Many though that Miso is only limited to Japanese Miso soup, little do they know that not only is Miso used for marinades, dressings, sauces but can also be used similar to using soy sauce as the base ingredient.
In here, cobs of corn is brushed with sweet miso butter then grilled. Creating miso butter is simply, you will need to mix miso, butter, soy sauce and honey. Try this recipe when planning a BBQ family and friends gathering.
Negi Miso Chicken
Negi is the Japanese name for Welsh Onion. A longer and thicker type of onion with white stem.
Negi Miso sauce for this dish is very easy to make. The sauce consists of Negi and miso. Since Miso is salty, you would expect this sauce to be a little salty. But if you want it to be less salty, you have the option to add a small amount of miso to the ingredients.
Negi Miso is a sauce that is similar to that of a pesto sauce often used for in Western cuisines. This sauce is not only used for in Negi Miso chicken dish but can also be used in different dishes such as using it as a marinade, or sauce used for dipping carrot sticks. Others love to top rice or tofu with Negi Miso sauce since miso adds flavor to every dish.
Pan Fried Miso Eggplant
Eggplants are delicious and healthy veggies. Did you know that Miso and Eggplant usually go well together? Because of Miso’s rich savory and tones it is perfect for the eggplant’s sweet taste and soft texture.
Pan Fried Miso eggplant can be used as a side dish to meat and fish dishes. The eggplant is then brushed with Miso glaze. This umami packed miso glaze will enhance the flavor of your meat, vegetables and tofu dishes.
Miso soup recipes for making miso glaze are: Miso (Light miso is recommended), soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Sriracha hot sauce and salt.
Miso and Honey Glazed Pork
Miso and Honey glazed pork is a dish that you can substitute with Buta no Shoga yaki, a Japanese dish made of Ginger pork. This dish is usually served in Japanese restaurant but can also be made at home.
Pork is first marinade using Miso sauce marinade. To make the miso sauce marinade, you can simply mix miso, sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oi and honey in a bowl.
After marinade, cook miso pork then wrap cooked miso pork using lettuce or you can serve the pork along side a cabbage.
Mochi Soup Recipe
Ozoni is a traditional Japanese soup that is made with rice cake soup and white miso. Other ingredients are different types of vegetables such as carrots, and radish but can also include other vegetable varieties such as spinach and mustard greens. Sweet potatoes and seafood can also be used.
Miso Katsu is similar to Tonkatsu, a Japanese dish that is made of breaded, deep fried pork cutlet.
In Japan, Tonkatsu and Miso Katsu does not only use Tonkatsu sauce, they sometimes use miso-base sauce. The Miso sauce is made of miso paste, both the red and white paste. Both are mixed together. Using the delicious miso sauce for your Miso Katsu sauce can be a unique experience since Tonkatsu sauce is the most popular sauce for the dish.
The minimum number of months to ferment miso is about 3 months. During the fermentation process, make sure air is removed to prevent molds from growing. Keeping salt handy and sprinkling the miso helps the mold from growing.
When Miso is boiled, its aroma and most of its nutritional benefits will be removed. You can only preserve its aroma and benefits by gently simmering the miso
Once a Miso package has been opened, the quality should last about 3 months. Though after 4 months to a year, the paste will not go bad but you notice the difference in terms of taste and flavor if used after 3 months.
The use of Miso is not only limited to making the famous Miso soup, it can also be used in different Japanese cuisines. It can used as a salad dressing, use as a marinade or as a miso glaze.
Aside from the Japanese dishes mentioned above, there is a wide variety of Miso recipes that you can incorporate in Japanese cuisines. There’s no harm in experimenting with Miso recipes. Which of the Miso recipes have you tried and which one is your favorite. Let us know what you think.