As you may have noticed from my various posts on the subject, I am in a constant state of eating down the fridge and/or cabinets. One key to doing this successfully, I have found, is to keep a few interesting ingredients on hand, lest eating down the fridge become an exercise in tedium. The ideal add-ins are shelf-stable, or at least will stay good in the fridge for six months or so. A well-stocked spice rack is a good first step. I am realizing, though, that there is a whole other category of these add-ins, a top shelf, if you will. A jar of capers or sundried tomatoes in oil, for example.
One way I have identified some of these premio foods-to-have-on-hand is by checking out some favorite food blogs and cookbooks and noting things that seem to pop up again and again. The latest addition to the fridge door is white miso paste, purchased at Korean Korner. My new go-to food blog, Everybody Likes Sandwiches, features it often, in everything from tofu glaze to coleslaw.
Also, once you have miso paste, making miso soup is about as hard as boiling water.