Miso Happy

Is there anything as cheering on a gray, rainy day as a bowl of miso soup? It is so healthy and energizing.

This isn’t authentic miso soup, but more of a simple cheat. All the same, it strongly reminds me of the kind of soup I have had in restaurants.

It is really pretty easy. Combine miso, water, a little soy sauce, cubed tofu, sliced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Heat to not quite boiling. Put a spoonful of fried onions in a ceramic bowl, add the soup.

Miso is very versatile–no need to save just for soup making (although I hear that a little bit added to French Onion soup is fabulous). You can use it in dressings, spreads and marinades for fish, poultry and vegetables.

Miso-glazed cod is a classic, but you can use miso on salmon, too. I concocted a marinade with 2 Tbl. white miso, 2 Tbl. Mirin, 1 Tbl. honey, the juice of half a lime, a few shakes of dried ginger and a pinch of white pepper. This is enough marinade for a pound of fish. Roast at 425 for 25 minutes.

Here is another thing you can do with miso that is extraordinarily easy: combine peanut butter (2 Tbl.), miso (2 tsp.), and honey (to taste, maybe a teaspoon or two). Spread this on toast and top with sliced apple, pear or banana.  This sandwich idea (with the apples) originally came from Serendipity. The recipe was published in The Serendipity Cookbook, which is out of print. I don’t have a copy of that book and can’t find the recipe online, so my version is from memory. Actually, I think I remember first learning about it from this episode of this show, where the owner of the restaurant Serendipity, Calvin Holt, demonstrated how to make the sandwich. I think the original sandwich involved alfalfa sprouts, but I can’t precisely remember.

Miso Soup
Inspired by restaurant soup and this recipe on allrecipes.

4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 Tbl. soy sauce
(optional: 1 Tbl. Mirin)
3 Tbl. miso (I used white miso, but the soup will be more intense with a darker miso)
2 scallions, sliced diagonally
4-6 ounces of firm tofu, cut into 1/4″ cubes (you can use half this amount for a lighter soup)
8 mushrooms (4 ounces), sliced (you can use half this amount for a lighter soup)
handful of fried onions (the kind that are batter dipped, like these)

Heat the water or broth with the soy sauce, miso (stir well after adding to dissolve it into the broth), scallions, mushrooms and tofu. Don’t let it boil, just heat to an almost simmer. When everything is heated through, sprinkle fried onions into the bottoms of 4-5 ceramic soup bowls (about 1 Tbl. per bowl) and then ladle over the soup.

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2 Responses to “Miso Happy”

  1. Leora Says:

    Partly due to Sushiana offering miso soup, I’ve actually got my daughter to cheer for this kind of soup! Yay!

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