If you still think miso is just for miso soup, think again. This versatile food naturally lends itself to many different dishes. Miso is a fermented food, usually made from fermenting soybeans, although I’ve also found rice and chickpea miso as well. It is a staple food in the traditional Japanese diet.
Research in the International Journal of Oncology found that regular miso consumption can help fight lung cancer. Other research suggests it may also help fight breast, colon and liver cancer. Other research found that when eaten as part of a regular diet, miso can help reduce the damaging effects of radiation. Packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and probiotics, miso is a delicious superfood that definitely warrants a place in our daily diet.
So, you may be wondering what you can do with miso, other than simply making soup with it. There are many great ways to incorporate miso into your regular diet. Here are some of my favorites:
Grain Goodness: Add a couple of tablespoons of miso to the cook water for brown rice, quinoa or other grain. Alternatively, cook the grains and stir in the miso while they are still warm.
Buttery Spread: Over low heat, melt a cup of coconut oil. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in a couple of tablespoons of miso. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally to ensure even distribution of the miso bits. Use in place of butter when you want a rich, slightly salty, slightly sweet taste.
Great Glaze: In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, 2 tablespoons miso (I prefer dark varieties for this recipe), a small fresh chili of your choice (minced) and a tablespoon of olive oil. This Maple Miso Glaze works beautifully on slices of tofu (choose organic only) or over roasted vegetables. For the tofu, cut into ½” thick slices and coat with the glaze then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 to 25 minutes. Top with green onion and minced chilies, if desired.
Vegan Crème Fraiche: Soak raw, unsalted cashews in water over night. Blend with some miso and just enough of the soak water to produce a thick and creamy cream. Pour over your favorite grains or cooked vegetables.
Miso Vinaigrette: In a medium-sized jar add: 2/3 cups olive oil, 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons miso, 1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup. Shake all ingredients together in a jar or blend with a hand blender. Toss with greens and serve.
Salad Dressing Booster: Instead of using mustard to thicken your homemade salad dressing, use miso. It thickens and emulsifies salad dressings.
Vegan Sour Cream Sensation: Add some miso and lemon juice to raw, unsalted cashews soaked in water over night. Blend together until smooth, adding only enough water to reach a sour cream consistency. Pour over baked potatoes, add to your favorite taco or use as you would traditional varieties of sour cream.
Green Greatness: Saute your favorite leafy greens in miso, garlic, olive oil and rice wine vinegar for great greens.
Veggie Burger Boost: Spread a thin layer of miso on your next veggie burger for a delicious, salty, rich flavor boost.
Mayo or Aioli: Puree some miso with a small amount of water and stir into your favorite aioli or mayo. Spread on sandwiches, subs or add to wraps.
Miso Mustard: Puree some miso with a small amount of water and stir into your favorite hot mustard for a taste treat. Use as you would regular mustard.
Stewed Up: Add a tablespoon or two to your favorite stew for a rich flavor boost.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight Extend Your Life.