I am the kind of person that will buy a tub of miso, then leave it in the refrigerator door for an interminable length of time, under the naïve assumption that it will (eventually) find its way into a recipe. If you’re like me, you know that this moment rarely, if ever, comes. You also know that it leaves you with bad feelings when you do a deep clean of the fridge and realise it’s been there for a small eternity, opened, but with only one spoonful scooped out from the top. You ask yourself the following questions: Is it still good? How do I know it’s still good? Do I need to throw it out? Then concede to the following affirmations: Online message boards about expiration dates cannot be trusted. I’m going to need to throw this out. I am a horrible human being for throwing this out.
It’s a vicious cycle.
I’m not quite sure what happens in the ark of purchasing the miso, bringing it home, then, months later, scraping it into the bin. It’s confounding. Not to mention a heinous act of food waste. (especially considering that miso paste could probably out-live you and me and I’ve just been overly cautious about its perishability). And so, I’ve decided that from this day forward, I will never throw out another container of miso. Cross my heart and hope to die.
I come to you today with proof of my penance – two recipes made recently with the stash of miso paste in my fridge, both having helped put a considerable dent in my supply, all while broadening my miso repertoire (did you know you can use it in savoury and sweet dishes? And not just in miso soup?). I feel that this is the beginning of a new relationship.
One is a carrot soup with ginger, spiced with coriander and curry. The miso works nicely in the background, adding a bit of depth to a soup that might otherwise be ho-hum. The other is a recipe for banana bread (or cake, depending on your sensibilities), where the saltiness of the miso balances out the sweetness of the banana. I brought a loaf to my friends Marko and Marilou as part of a care package the week after their daughter was born and received a text from them the next day saying they’d polished it off, the last couple of slices served up for breakfast, toasted and slathered in butter.
I hope you’ll do the same x
Miso Banana Bread – from Amelia Morris of Bon Appetempt
- 5 medium overripe bananas
- 1 cup all-purpose flour*
- ½cup whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup of ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup white (or yellow) miso
- ½ whole-milk plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs
*If you prefer, you can replace the whole-wheat flour and ground flax seeds with all-purpose flour (so 1¾ cups of all-purpose flour total)
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a loaf pan, dust with a light coating of flour and set aside.
2) Mash 4 of the bananas in a bowl. Set aside
3) Mix all the dry ingredients (except the sugar) in a separate bowl. Set aside.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer (or, simply, another bowl). Combine the softened butter, miso. Beat until light and fluffy (about 5 mins). Add the sugar and beat until combined. Add the yogurt, then one egg at a time, beating between additions. Beat in mashed bananas. Then mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
5) Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Slice remaining banana lengthwise and place on top of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes (or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean). Let cool on a baking rack for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Miso Carrot Soup – adapted from Wholehearted Eats
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 8 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups)
- 1 Tbsp curry powder (optional)
- ½ tsp. dried coriander
- 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 6-7 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
- 3 Tbsp. white miso paste
- 1 tsp. tamari
- garnishes: lemon wedges, cilantro, sesame seeds
1) Heat a medium pot to low and add the oil and onion. Sweat the onion until soft, translucent and golden. Add the garlic, dried coriander, curry (if using) and the minced ginger. Sauté for a couple of minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped carrots and sauté cook for few more minutes.
2) Next add 5 cups of the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once it begins to simmer, cover with lid slightly ajar, and let it cook until the carrots and onions are very tender (about 3o minutes).
3) Take the soup off the heat and puree it in a blender or hand blender, until smooth. Bring the remaining 1-2 cups stock (if you like a thicker or thinner soup) to a boil, take it off the heat, and stir in the miso and tamari until combined. Add this mixture to the soup and stir to combine. To serve, add a squeeze of lemon, some sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.