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The miracle of miso: 5 recipes that show off this lip-smacking umami ingredient

Ever cooked with this fermented Asian gem? It's pricey but so worth it.

23 Oct 2017

(image: iStock)

If you've been cooking with miso for a while, you'll know how utterly droolicious it is. Mainly because it contains that sought-after special 5th taste, umami. 

Umami was only discovered in the 1900s in Japan and what makes it unique is that it has its own taste receptors in the mouth - totally different to the other taste receptors that are used for bitter, sweet, salty and sour. You'll taste umami in things like Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, fish sauces and fermented products like miso. 

Miso is essentially an ingredient - most commonly a paste, made from the fermentation of soybeans. You'll probably be familiar with the popular Asian miso soup but it's recently seen a gust of popularity on restaurant menus and in recipes all over the internet. And it's not hard to understand why... it's just so darn good! Not to mention its ridiculous versatility. Common uses include savoury and sweet sauces, marinades, veggie dishes, stir-fries, desserts like ice creams, baked puddings and so much more! 

You can find it at most Asian supermarkets as well as a good quality deli or food store. 

First time cooking with miso? Try one of these recipes! 

1. Roast aubergines with miso and pomelo

2. Pork meatball pitas with miso and tahini yoghurt

3. Malva pudding with white miso and marmalade

4. Asian style roast chicken with honey, miso and ginger glaze

5. Chocolate miso brownies


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