I was recently sent an article on miso by IamQuarry, a Stumble friend.  We love miso.  Jane makes an excellent gravy by whisking miso into vegetable stock.  Yum.  She also makes her own miso soup (not difficult at all), salad dressing (although I prefer our balsamic/dijon dressing), and it's an ingredient in a number of recipes we really enjoy.... So we always have it sitting in the back of the fridge somewhere.

The article I mentioned above, A Little Bit About Miso, on Foodproof.com, is just that, a little bit about miso... an introduction.  It's an interesting read if you don't have much experience with miso.  Even if you do there are a few tips that might be of value.  I particularly like the suggestion to use miso as a glaze to broil vegetables:

There are a bunch of ways of doing vegetables, commonly called dengaku. The usual is a thin Asian eggplant, which you cut lengthwise in half (and sometimes across, depending on size) after washing and cutting off the stem. Then you skewer the halves on bamboo forks. Broil the eggplant, cut-side down, for a minute or so until barely getting saggy. Turn them over, spread with the miso paste, and broil about the same amount of time. Serve hot. You can also do firm tofu this way (NOT the soft, silky stuff I talk about in that blog entry, which will fall to bits instantly!). One note, though: Don't worry about the bamboo forks, which are a pain in the butt as well as hard to find, in my experience. Just do them in the broiler on a sheet of oiled aluminum foil and move them around with tongs.

We've tried red, white, and yellow miso.  We tend to lean towards red or yellow miso these days.  The red miso has the stronger flavor of the three; we find the white miso is a little too mild, although it works nicely in dressing.

You can find miso in the refrigerated section at your natural foods store or asian market.  If you're lucky you can even find it in your grocery store, near the tofu...  Miso is a "living" food, full of active cultures, enzymes and micronutrients, so once you get it home you should be keep your miso in the  refrigerator.  Use a clean spoon when removing some from the container to avoid contamination.  The miso will have an expiration date stamped on the tub, it keeps for months!  Oh, and don't overcook/boil your miso.  You don't want to "kill" the beneficial properties.

If you're looking for more in depth information on miso (inlcuding nutritional information) World's Healthiest Foods has a good write up, as does Wikipedia.


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