Remember a few weeks ago when I gave you a recipe for a slammin’ quinoa muffin  and wrote about how I wasn’t a fan of New Years resolutions ? Well, if you remember that, you should also remember that in lieu of a proper and oh-so restrictive resolution, I made a promise to myself to incorporate more healthy items into the Salerno household. I also vowed to try and incorporate some new foods as well. It’s the third week in January and I’m happy to say that so far, I’m doing great (see how well non-resolutions work?) And to prove to you just how adventurous I’m getting, last night I made this:
Boom. Boom. POW!
In TEN MINUTES, YO!
That delicious and super quick meal was brought to you by the fascinating and only slightly exotic….Miso Paste ! Let’s learn more about it, shall we?
What is Miso Paste ?
Miso paste is a lovely word for fermented soybean paste. This savory paste is a staple in Japanese cuisine and believe it or not is made by adding a yeast mold (known as “koji”), salt and other ingredients to soy (most commonly), rice, barely or wheat. The fermenting process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years depending on the type of miso that is desired. Once the fermenting process is complete, the fermented ingredients are pureed into a thick paste as you see above and below.
If you’re still with me after you read the words “yeast”, “mold” and “fermented” all in the same paragraph, Brava! The process may sound a bit strange and unappetizing but chances are, you’ve eaten the stuff in one way or another if you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant. Most commonly, it’s used in the ever popular Miso Soup. Simply add 1 cup hot water to a teaspoon of miso paste, a few cubes of tofu and some scallions and you have yourself a kickin’ miso soup for one, that will rival any of your neighborhood take-out joints. For reals!
What Are the health Benefits of Eating Miso Paste?
Miso paste is high in sodium but a very little goes a loooong way! It’s an excellent source of B12, especially for vegans and just one tablespoon of miso contains 2 grams of protein for as little as 25 calories.
Now that we have the description out of the way, I can tell you what I did with the stuff. I was super excited to buy it because I have been eyeing it in my local health food store for quite some time now. So, when I got that bad boy home, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it—make a sweet and savory glaze for fish! You see, I’ve had many delicious fish dishes in NYC Japanese restaurants where the chef coats a lovely piece of salmon or cod with this gorgeous glistening glaze. The taste is both sweet and savory and incredibly flavorful—just what me and my family needed to jazz things up a bit. Except, I wanted to try something different and super fast so I decided to use it on some shrimp.
The dressing is ridiculously simple and takes all of 3 minutes to make. In fact, the entire recipe only takes 10 minutes, which means it can be thrown together with your last bits of energy—perfect for busy folks! Serve them over some steamed rice or lovely salad greens and you’re in bizniss! This dressing is extremely versatile so feel free to spread it over any piece of fish (my fave is salmon) before roasting or use it as a marinade for any chicken or veggie dish.
3 tablespoons white miso paste
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound of large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 scallions, finely chopped for topping
1. Preheat a grill pan (you can use a regular skillet if you don’t have a grill pan) over medium heat. In a small bowl whisk together miso paste, lemon juice, sugar, pepper, garlic, ginger and canola oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
2. Grill shrimp over medium-high heat for approximately 2 minutes per side or until slightly charred and barely cooked through. Do not over cook!! Serve shrimp over rice or salad greens and garnish with chopped scallions.