Miso is food with a story. Miso has a rich past. Families continue to make their own miso to this day. Aged and fermented, it is potent; you wouldn’t want to eat straight-up miso as a snack – but as an accompaniment to a dish, it can sometimes be just what you need.
There’s lots of types of miso, from the milder, light-colored varieties to the richer, deeper-colored sorts. I’ve heard that barley miso is higher on the healthful spectrum than the other types. What makes miso healthful? The unpasteurized kind you buy in the refrigerator section of the market is said to have probiotics. Because it has probiotics, though, you have to be careful with miso – if you boil it, you can destroy these beneficial bacteria.
For lunch today, I made one of my favorite quick-miso dishes: buckwheat soba noodles with almond-butter miso sauce. It’s so easy to make. The buckwheat noodles take about 3-4 minutes to cook. While you’re cooking the noodles, you can quickly throw together the sauce: in a small saucepan, combine equal parts (about 1.5 tsp each for 2 servings) of nut butter and miso. Add in a few big splashes of water and cream the ingredients together with a fork. Put on the stovetop on high, stirring with your fork, and the mixture will soon become creamy. Pour over your buckwheat noodles and you have a healthy, sweet-and-salty meal or snack.
I served mine with broccoli, which I had drizzled with olive oil and breadcrumbs.
Have you ever made a miso sauce?
On a side note – Evan of Food Makes Fun Fuel is doing a giveaway you might like to enter, for a $55 gift certificate to CSN stores. Good luck!