Miso, a soybean paste, is a fermented flavor miracle, brimming with potential for delicious things that go far beyond simple soup. It’s basically a shortcut to umami, the Japanese concept of a deeply flavorful fifth taste that is also found in mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Shiro, the light, melting blonde miso strain, is the most versatile and, for the uninitiated, a gateway to other strains. It gives a salty smoothness to everything from savory noodles to desserts.
Shiro miso udon kale carbonara
This border carbonara brings Japan and Italy together on the same plate and is compulsive food. The recipe also works with regular spaghetti or bucatini.
Preperation 15 min
to cook 20 mins
4 egg yolks
60g grated parmesan or pecorino romano, plus extra to serve
1 heaped shiro miso
Sea salt and black pepper
150g guanciale, or pancetta
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
200g udon noodles
2 new onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
Togarashi, to serve
Beat the egg yolks, Parmesan and miso in a bowl and season with sea salt (not too much, as the cheese is already quite salty) and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, then brown it in a little olive oil in a hot pan until crispy. Remove from the pan with a skimmer and drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, briefly sauté the garlic in the same fat, until fragrant, then add the kale, sauté until wilted and remove from the heat.
Cook the noodles according to the package directions, then drain them, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Add the cooked udon and fried guanciale to the kale pan and toss to combine.
Whisk some of the reserved hot cooking water into the egg yolk mixture – this will help temper the eggs and keep them from scrambling – then pour the egg mixture over the noodles and mix and mix: heat of the noodles will cook the egg, forming a thick sauce. It should be nice and shiny, coat the noodles, but drizzle with a little more cooking liquid if you need to thin it out a bit.
Stir in the chopped spring onion greens and serve with a togarashi dispersion and additional Parmesan, if desired.
Sweet miso caramel tarte tatin
Here, miso adds a welcome savory note to an otherwise sweet dessert – feel free to use red miso instead, for its complex, bitter notes.
Preperation 10 minutes
to cook 1h45
1 time 325 g butter puff pastry
1 white miso paste
100g caster sugar
6 apples (a mixture of sweet and hot, like cox and granny smith), seeded and quartered
1 tablespoon black and white grilled Sesame seeds
Heat oven to 180 C (160C fan) / 350F / gas 4.
Cut the dough into a 24cm disc, using a plate as a guide. Prick everything lightly with a fork, place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and place in the refrigerator.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and miso (or use a microwave), then whisk to make sure they are well combined.
Distribute the sugar on the bottom of a cast iron or stainless steel frying pan with a thick base, 20 cm in diameter. Put the pan over medium heat and cook the sugar, stirring the pan occasionally (do not stir), for about seven minutes, until it begins to dissolve and caramelize around the edges, and turns deep amber. Add three quarters of the butter-miso mixture and shake to combine.
Turn off the heat, arrange the apples rounded side down on the caramel, making sure they are packed tight and there is no space, then brush with the remaining miso butter.
Bake the fruit for 30 minutes, then remove the mold from the oven and place the disc of refrigerated puff pastry on top. Tuck the edges of the dough inside the pan, then use the tip of a small, sharp knife to punch a few holes in the top, so that the steam can escape. Bake another 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Take out of the oven, let stand for two minutes, then place a plate on the dish and shake to loosen the pie. Working quickly and very carefully, protecting yourself from the hot handle and the hot caramel in the pan, turn the pie over onto the plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cut into pieces and serve hot with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.