Splendid Table Report: Beyond Miso Soup

There's a tub of miso paste wedged near the back of our fridge. We pull it out when we get the odd craving for miso soup or find a recipe that calls for a few tablespoons. Ever wonder if there are more ways you could use that miso paste in your cooking? Sally Schneider was on The Splendid Table last week with a few great ideas!

The first thing Sally suggests is investing in a range of misos, from light to dark. The darker, stronger misos are great with hearty dishes made with things like red meat, mushrooms, and roasted chicken. The lighter misos are better for, you guessed it, lighter preparations. It goes well with vegetables, fish, and fresh salads.

She also debunked the notion that miso can only be used in Asian-style dishes. White miso makes a classic marinade for fish, so why not use a darker miso in a marinade for steaks and kebabs going on the grill? Sally says this gives dishes a similar flavor as those expensive dry-aged meats, and we can't wait to try it!

We were also intrigued by her suggestions of mixing some white miso with almond butter to make a spread for sandwiches. We can see this going into a grown-up version of peanut butter and jelly, or being used in Michael Ruhlman's favorite peanut butter and cabbage sandwich.

That same white miso goes very well with nut flavors, so Sally suggests mixing it with hazelnut or walnut oil for a salad vinaigrette. For those of us who get tired of eating the same salad day after day, this could be a very simple way to mix things up!

With these guidelines and basic ideas, Sally says to just play around! All misos have incredible umami depth and add a savory quality to any dish. There are countless ways a few teaspoons can be put to use in our favorite dishes.

How do you use miso in your everyday cooking?

Listen to the Whole Interview! Improvising with Miso with Sally Schneider on the Splendid Table

Related: Recipe: Miso Potato Salad with Yellow Wax Beans

(Image: Flickr member avlxyz licensed under Creative Commons)