All You Wanted To Know About Miso
Miso is a product made from fermented soybeans. It is one of the most incredible Asian ingredients and I use it as often as I can. It tastes kind of sweet kind of salty and it gives depth and intrigue into anything you put it into (read: umami). I use it in anything from dressings to dessert and love seeing how people react to it. (it’s usually wow! What IS that, I can’t place it but its so good!)
Miso comes in a bunch of different intensities. In general, the rule of thumb is the darker you go, the more intense the flavor is. In general, I recommend beginners to start with white miso or Shiro miso as it's called. More and more kosher groceries are carrying miso now. One of my favorites is from the Eden brand which you can also order on Amazon.
Christina Tosi, the genius behind Milk Bar (a nonkosher dessert café and a very amazing cookbook) used miso to create a butterscotch. She basically burnt the miso giving it a rich nutty flavor and mixed it with a basic butter scotch to give like a sweet, and deep kind of salty taste. It was genius. I’ve used the same concept here to create a toffee bark that is incredible! I’ve also given you the option of adding a miso toasted nut on top of your toffee instead of regular old nuts which in my opinion takes it over the top! You can keep this in your fridge for like two weeks. And guess what, it only gets better over time. I think that is like a huge win.
1/4 c miso
1/4 c brown sugar
1 c butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp. Mirin
1 10 oz. bag chocolate chips
chopped cashews or miso glazed mixed nuts (recipe below)
Heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Spread the miso out in an even layer, about 1/4-inch-thick, on the lined baking sheet. Bake it until the miso is well browned and quite a bit burnt around the edges, about 20-25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Then crumble into small pieces and set aside until ready to use.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, and sugars. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir consistently.
While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
When the toffee reaches the correct temperature, add the mirin, salt, and vanilla. Stir to integrate.
Add the miso and stir it until the miso is evenly distributed. Pour the butterscotch over the pan and allow it to cool for up to 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and when they begin to melt, spread them over the toffee layer. Then sprinkle nuts or miso toasted nuts if using.
Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.
Miso Glazed Mixed Nuts (from fresh.com)
1 cup mixed unsalted raw nuts
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons miso
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat ½ tablespoon of sesame oil in a small frying pan over a high heat. When the oil is hot, add all the nuts. Stir fry until the nuts color slightly (this should take only 4-5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them.
Drain nuts onto kitchen paper and set aside.
Wipe clean the frying pan. Heat ½ tablespoon sesame oil. Add miso and sugar and mix well. As soon as the sugar is dissolved and miso mixture becomes shiny return the nuts to the pan. Mix thoroughly and then immediately take the pan off the heat.
Let the nuts cool to room temperature and chop before sprinkling over the toffee
Things I would use miso for:
- miso+ butter+ sugar= crazy popcorn topping
- miso and soy sauce is a great substitute for anything fleshing calling for fish sauce
- tsp miso + 2 tbsp. oil + tbsp. rice vinegar for an awesome dressing
- mix with caramelized onions and add them to burgers or on top of roast chicken
- miso + vinegar + honey = marinade
- miso + tahini+ maple syrup + rice vinegar + water till smooth= deliciousness on any any everything!!
- Miso + sesame oil= up your fish game
- Add to mashed potatoes for crazy flavor
- Add to ice cream with come cookie bits and caramel ribbons