Stalling On the Way to the Kitchen

miso paste

In case you haven’t noticed, 80 and I took a two week vacation to Japan and Korea. In those glorious days of no work I didn’t cook a damn thing. In fact, it shocked me how much I didn’t miss the kitchen.

But now we’re back. I spend my days tapping on slate colored keys, knowing exactly what I’m doing and where I’ll be. I no longer need Lonely Planet guiding my days. Outlook dominates my hours once again.

Because I must get back into, well, being back, I bought something that would force me into the kitchen, but also force me to experiment with the flavors I found so delicious. I bought a big tub of miso paste. (Actually, it’s the only thing in my fridge at the moment.)

I’ve never played with miso paste before, but I have a feeling I’ll be able to find a billion uses for it. At this point, though, I’m very unclear on what those uses are.

Before we left for vacation, 80’s mom sent me Japanese Food and Cooking by Emi Kazuko and Yasuko Fukuoka, to prepare me for the craziness ahead. I’ve spied a few recipes I’m excited to mess around with—Fried Aubergine with Miso Sauce, Pot-Cooked Udon in Miso Soup (with a broth-poached egg!), Broccoli (stem only) and Cucumber Pickled in Miso—but I also want to try a clean miso soup.  If anyone knows where I can find: dried wakame, second dashi stock, shichimi togarashi or sansho – let me know!

And if you have other, less terrifying miso included recipes, comment here please.