Chikako Numata/Full-time writer
Stir-fried Pork with Long Island Yam and Pleurotus eryngii (Photo: Masahiro Goda)
Editor's note: The theme of Gohan Lab is to help people make simple and delicious "Gohan" (meals).
Miso is one of the five basic seasonings in Japan. It is represented by the syllable "sa shi su se so" and is closely related to Japanese cuisine.
But now it is used not only by chefs of Japanese cuisine, but also by chefs of Chinese and Italian cuisine. The four-part series starting this week will explore the widespread use of miso.
The taste of miso is a complex fusion of salty, sweet, fresh, sour, and bitter, with a strong aroma and taste.
Katsuhiko Yoshida, a Chinese chef who oversees the cooking of recipes, said that when he wants to add flesh to stir-fries and stews, he uses miso.
"It is rich in umami and well balanced, and it is a star seasoning," he said.
This week’s dish is miso stir-fry made with Long Island yam, pleurotus eryngii and pork. After adding sugar, soy sauce and miso, the taste becomes a little sweet.
Although light-colored and relatively salty miso is used in the recipe, such as Shinshu miso, you can use miso in the refrigerator. The amount of soy sauce or sugar may change according to your miso taste.
Although Nagashima is unlikely to absorb the flavor, the seasoning will wrap it well.
Miso is classified according to the flavor, color and type of "Koji", which is a fermentation vessel such as rice, barley, and soybeans.
According to data compiled by the Japan Miso Maker Cooperative Federation, which is composed of miso makers across the country, rice miso accounts for approximately 80% of all miso shipments.
Approximately 10% of mixed miso contains two or more types of miso, whether it is rice or barley miso, or is made by mixing more than one type of miso. The remaining 10% is soybean miso and barley miso.
About half of the rice miso has a light yellowish salty flavor represented by Shinshu miso. Data from the federation shows that although miso shipments are down 20% from 20 years ago, exports are on the rise, which may be due to growing interest in Japanese cooking.
(The culinary aspect is supervised by Yoshida Katsuhiko, and the culinary science aspect is supervised by Kasai Midori)
150g long hairy yam, 100g pleurotus eryngii, 150g pork belly (buta-bara-niku), pork first seasoning (1 teaspoon each of sake and soy sauce, black pepper and a little bit of chestnut starch), 2 tablespoons of oil, mixed seasonings (1 tablespoon each of miso, sugar and sake, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and 100 ml of water), 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Approximately 385 kcal and 1.4 grams of salt per serving
1. Use a pot brush to scrub the long hairs and remove the roots. Cut the skin in half lengthwise, and then cut into 1 cm thick semicircles (photo A). Cut the eryngii mushrooms in half and cut into 7 to 8 mm thick slices.
2. Cut the pork into 2 cm wide pieces, put them in a bowl, and season with the previous soy sauce, sake and black pepper. Wipe them gently. Then add slices of chestnut starch and mix well.
3. Mix miso with other seasonings and water in a bowl. (Photo B).
4. Add oil to the frying pan and heat. While separating the meat pieces, sauté the pork over a higher medium heat. When the color changes, add Long Island and King Pleurotus eryngii and cook. Add the mixed seasonings. Turn to high temperature and keep boiling for less than 1 minute while mixing (photo C). Turn off the heat and pour the sesame oil in a circular motion.
Katsuhiko Yoshida is the head chef of Jeeten, Uehara Yoyogi restaurant in Tokyo, which serves Chinese dishes.
Midori Kasai is an honorary professor of Ochanomizu University and a former chairman of the Japanese Culinary Society.
Green pepper and miso stir-fry (for two)
Use 1 bag (150 grams) of green peppers ("piman" type). Cut in half lengthwise, leaving the seeds, and removing only the calyx. Keep the seeds because the seasoning will stick to them well. Lay the green peppers flat and cut into 2 cm wide pieces. Cut 30 grams of ginger into thin strips. Mix 1 tablespoon each of sugar, sake, miso, and 50 ml of water. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and boil the green peppers over high heat. When the pieces are coated with oil, add ginger and continue cooking. Add the mixed seasonings and fry until the green peppers are soft. Finally, pour 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a circular motion.
Miso is a seasoning made by mixing steamed soybeans with koji and salt, then fermenting and aging. Koji is an appetizer made by attaching Koji bacteria to rice, barley or soybeans. According to the balance of salt and koji, each will turn into rice, barley, and soybean miso with different flavors and aromas. Miso with low koji and high salt is called "karakuchi" (salty), and miso with high koji and low salt is called "amakuchi" (sweet).
Gohan Lab column from the Asahi Shimbun
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