There’s Something About Miso

Years in the past, at a New York restaurant known as Nishi, I attempted a cheeky, cheeseless model of cacio e pepe made with chickpea miso. I used to be skeptical, however the scorching, slippery noodles have been so satisfying, so stuffed with salty dimension and depth, so absurdly scrumptious, that I didn’t miss the cheese in any respect.

There’s each nuance and energy in fermented bean pastes, like Japanese miso and Korean doenjang, which are available in an enormous vary of flavors, textures and colours. They’re simply among the most necessary and sensible components in my pantry.

I’d like to learn to make my very own, fermenting soybeans or grains for a lot of months with koji, the identical rice mould used to make sake and soy sauce. But for now, I purchase my on a regular basis white miso, most frequently from Omiso, a small enterprise close to me in Downtown Los Angeles.

Good white miso has a mellow, gently candy and deeply savory taste with a excessive, virtually floral aroma. It’s gorgeous in Alexa Weibel’s simple vegan cacio e pepe. Along with miso, her recipe requires a little bit cashew butter and dietary yeast. It’s an ideal dinner with some chilly, minimize Persian cucumbers on the aspect, dabbed in the identical miso, or a giant inexperienced salad.

If your counter continues to be stuffed with late-summer produce, roast eggplant with a easy miso glaze. Don’t rush it. Make positive to let it go till it’s virtually collapsing, creamy and tender all through — no agency, spongy bits! Then chop up the eggplant, pile it on heat rice and canopy with some roughly torn herbs and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

If there’s a chill within the air, few issues are higher than a giant batch of mushroom miso soup. It’s simple to adapt this David Tanis recipe, including a handful of frozen, shelled edamame into the simmering broth, or every other greens you’ve received readily available, together with tender greens, contemporary sprouts and comfortable herbs.

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Vegan Cacio e Pepe

Get the recipe.

Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Miso-Glazed Eggplant

Get the recipe.

Credit…Evan Sung for The New York Times

Mushroom Miso Soup

Go to the recipe.

One More Thing!

Hoping you don’t want an excuse to restock on miso, however right here’s one: miso-mustard dressing, which mixes warmth and sweetness in a method that’s utterly irresistible. You can combine up the bean paste you utilize, in addition to the mustard — I prefer it greatest with white miso and Dijon.

In a mixing bowl, whisk collectively about 2 tablespoons miso, 1 tablespoon mustard and a pair of tablespoons rice wine vinegar. Then add water, a tablespoon at a time, till the dressing is precisely the feel you need (thick is good for a dip or for dressing cooked greens, and runny is good in the event you’re utilizing it on softer salad leaves).

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