I do love miso, just not so much in sweet applications. Last night for dinner I used it in a more familiar way. Miso soup is delicious, and way easier to make than I thought. I spent a few hours browsing recipes in my cookbook collection and online, and of course decided to take the info and wing it.As usual.
To serve with it I made grilled rice cylinders and sunomono. Have you tried sunomono? I had never heard of it until recently when I came across it on a friend’s blog, and it’s pretty delicious. My husband ate cucumbers, and my toddler actually tried (though still didn’t love) rice!
Here’s the process-
Grilled Rice Cylinders
Cook short grain white rice per package directions. I used my tiny cheapy rice cooker.
When finished cooking, fluff rice then let cool until you can handle it without burning yourself.
Grab a few tablespoons worth and squish together. I have a mold, I’m not sure why, but that’s what I used. It should work just fine using your hands, just make sure to really squish the grains together.
Coat the rice cylinders in melted butter and cook on a grill pan. Mine aren’t actually grilled, as I don’t have a grill pan, but I cooked both sides on a cast iron skillet until crispy. They probably could have used a few more minutes on each side, but I was in a rush.
Lightly salt and pepper if desired. (These are also pretty good dipped in the soup.)
1ish Cucumber (the thinner the better.)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
Splash soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seeds
Peel cucumber if desired, but they don’t really need it. Slice as thin as you can and put cucumber slices in a medium bowl. Add salt and mix in with your hands. Leave to sit for 10 minutes to let some water loose.
Squeeze cucumbers and discard water (dump the water from the bowl too.)
In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce until the sugar dissolves.
Pour vinegar mixture on cucumbers and mix well. Add sesame seeds.
Miso Soup (broth is loosely based on the one from the Momofuku cookbook by David Chang and Peter Meehan)
5-6 cups water
1 pound button mushrooms
small carrot, peeled and rough chopped
small onion cut into quarters
4 garlic cloves peeled and gently crushed
A few tablespoons white miso
firm tofu cut into small cubes
Splash of soy sauce
Put water, mushrooms, carrot, onion, and garlic into a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour. I started with 4 cups water and ended up adding 1-2 more cups later as the broth was reducing.
Strain broth (make sure to keep the liquid, I was distracted and almost sent it down the drain!) and discard vegetables or find another use for them.
Put broth back in the pan. Add tofu (I didn’t measure, just tossed in a few handfuls until it looked good to me) and boil for about 1 minute. Turn off heat.
Add miso a tablespoon at a time, mixing well and tasting after each addition. When the miso is the star you’re good to go. Add a splash of soy sauce for good measure. Some people like to add chives to this, but they aren’t my thing.
Tada! Delicious dinner, middling effort.