Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Marvels of Miso

The distinctive aroma reminds me of Japan. Earthy. Salthy. Soothing simplicity.

Whenever I take a sip of warm miso soup, my palate welcomes the umami taste. My insides appreciate the beneficial micronutrients.

Many Japanese people start their day with a bowl of tepid miso soup to gently energize the body. It is the easiest soup to make; just a few tasty ingredients simmered for few minutes.

Soybean paste, fish stock and dried seaweed or kelp. 
Add a spoonful of nutrient-rich soybean paste to hot fish stock or water and let the paste slowly simmer to dissolve.
Dried kelp, or seaweed.
I like to add dried seaweed or kelp, known as Kombu. This sea algae is an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. Coupled with miso, you have a soup that is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Kombu, or seasweed adds an punch to miso soup
Add chopped tofu and green onion just before serving.

When shopping for miso, look for the unpasteurised miso which is loaded with enzymes and beneficial microorganisms. The colour varies from pale yellow to dark red or brown. The lighter the colour, the milder and sweeter the taste. Dark miso has a robust and earthy saltiness. Start with a tad and slowly, carefully increase the quantity. If you're not careful, you might overpower your dish.

I've got Japan on my mind because of the tragic one year anniversary. This week marks one full year after the magnitude 9 earthquake unleashed a devastating tsumani.

I attended a candle-light vigil in Ottawa where a representative from the Japanese embassy told us that the Japanese people are utterly grateful for our thoughts and prayers.  Our financial assistance is also in tremendous need. If you wish to give, here is the link to the Red Cross.

Domo arigato gozaimasu, a deep thank you.

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