This recipe is one that Taste published some time ago and a friend pushed me to have a look at it. I was very sceptical – cooking miso is not something that I do often (heat destroys some of its health properties), and cooking lemon juice is rarer (cooking changes its flavour). But I do like to test recipes, especially if prompted or recommended by friends. So one Saturday afternoon when I was roasting some broccoli and needed a sauce for it, I set about making this special miso sauce. With only 5 ingredients – miso, rice vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and mirim – the result is precisely as you imagine. Dark. Rich. Bright. Chilli-hot. Sweet.
The recipe is originally from Hiroko Shimbo’s Hiroko’s American Kitchen. While it uses Japanese ingredients, it is not something traditionally Japanese – far far too bold and funky for the subtleness of Japanese cuisine.
The premise for this sauce is that
- it is so very easy to make
- it freezes really well, but not solid, so you can spoon it out into dishes whenever you want
- it can be used in almost anything – stirred into sauteed potatoes and into soups and braises. Toss through fried rice. Stir into lentil stews and make miso soup with it. Toss roasted broccoli and cauliflower in it. Add a little to dressings, dips and spreads.
Pretty much the number of uses of this sauce is infinite, guided only by your imagination. Add a little to a dish for full-on flavours, or add just a little for a mysterious undertone.
Actually it is so dark and funky, I’ll use it as a vegetarian substitute in place of fish sauce in some recipes.
Today, we roasted slabs of broccoli and served with the sauce. Broccoli shines when paired with something punchy, formidable and umami-rich, so the combo works divinely.