Shurtleff and wife Akiko Aoyagi travelled extensively
throughout Japan to compile the information held in this
remarkable book. With over 250 recipes ranging from main
dishes to deserts, this authoritative book belongs in
every health conscious cook's kitchen!
Miso is another of Japan's culinary gifts
to the world. It is made from a mixture of soybeans, grains
(rice, or barley), salt, water, and a fermenting agent.
It is a savory, protein rich, highly nutritious soyfood
that is of major importance in East Asia. Miso is unchallenged
in it's versatility and is the base for sauces, soups, dressings,
toppings, as well as being used as a medium for making pickles.
Every area of Japan produces it's own variety of miso, so
there are many types to choose from. The two most common
and readily available are "white" and "red" miso. The white
varieties are a yellowish brown color and have a lite, almost
sweet taste. The red varieties range from a deep dark red
to an almost ebony brown, they also possess a rich aroma
and an earthy taste. The following are just some of my favorite
ways to use miso.
soup is always made by combining hot dashi with your choice
of miso paste. In Japan miso soup is not just eaten at dinnertime,
many people have as the first meal of the day a cup full
of hot miso soup! All you need to prepare this healthy and
delicious treat is a small sieve
and a pot.
cups dashi (see basics
for preparation method)
1/4 cup miso (either red or white miso)
teaspoon of wakame
chopped fine (optional)
1 slice of tofu an inch long and half an inch wide, finely
diced into cubes
2 teaspoons of very finely chopped green onions
the dashi in a saucepan or small pot and bring to a near
boil. Place the miso into a small hand held sieve, dip it
into the dashi in order to moisten, and then with a spoon,
stir and push the miso through the sieve. Continue dipping
and stirring until all the miso is dissolved into the dashi.
Add the tofu and allow to simmer. Serve the soup into a
lacquer bowl and garnish with the chopped onions.
is one of Japan's oldest types of miso cuisine. It consists
of grilling various types of skewered foods, then coating
the food with a thin layer of sweetened miso and grilling
again. Here is how to make the sweet simmered miso used
1 3/4 cups
of red or white miso
1/3 cup sake
1/3 cup mirin
3 tablespoons of sugar
all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir with a
wooden spatula over a medium flame. When the mixture begins
to boil, reduce the heat and continue stirring until smooth
and thick (around 20 minutes). Let cool and then it's ready
to use. Sweet simmered miso can be refrigerated for up to
can grill many different foods when making dengaku, try grilling
mushrooms, leeks, daikon, mochi, green peppers, konnyaku
Here are two more tasty dengaku treats...
Take 1 sweet potato, cut lengthwise, peel and steam (or
use a microwave) until just tender, let cool. Now place
the slices on aluminum foil under an oven broiler and broil
on each side until lightly speckled, spread one side with
a thin layer of dengaku miso and grill again until the miso
bubbles. Serve hot or cold.
Eggplant). Take four Japanese eggplants
and split them lengthwise. Broil the eggplants on each side
in an oven broiler until the eggplant is nearly cooked through
(you can brush on a little bit of sesame oil to keep the
eggplant from drying out, this also imparts a nice flavor).
Spread dengaku miso on the cut surface side and grill again
until the miso bubbles. Serve hot or cold.