Just Add Miso (as a General Rule)
To your eggs, to your chicken, to your hummus, to your pasta sauce
I love seeing the brilliant ideas my colleagues — and other recipe developers not related to the Bittman Project — come up with. I’ve been amazed by them over and over. Kerri’s Savory Tofu Sundae. Holly’s Maximalist Niçoise (gloriously customizable). Forever Soup a la Mark.
I promise I’m not putting myself down when I say that I’m pretty far away from this talented bunch when it comes to being creative in the kitchen. But I like to think that I’ve gotten a bit further along on my journey from where I was in 2004, living in a one-bedroom-converted-to-two on Christopher Street, with a kitchen the size of a (small) bathroom, panicking about how to time multiple dishes for dinner. (The answer: Only cook one thing, then serve it with bread or rice and salad. Never worry about timing again!)
Sometimes I have good ideas that I come up with all on my own. Back in December (hence the Christmas tree), I was inspired by Mark’s Miso Deviled Eggs and decided to stir some miso into my egg salad. It worked. It was a delight.
But then, many of my good ideas involve miso. I love the stuff. Everybody should! It’s salty and unique and distinctive and I really do think you could add it to pretty much anything. A saucy topping for an ice cream sundae? A miso-based snack mix? An add-in to pesto? Yes to all. Miso for all.
Come along on my miso joyride. Try it in your
Egg salad (the aforementioned)
Quick katsu-style chicken
Explainers/recipes below. And let us (me) know what you like to add miso to — it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll think it’s a good idea.
Miso Egg Salad
Makes: 4 sandwiches
Time: 10 minutes
6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
1 tablespoon miso, or to taste
Salt and pepper
Chop the eggs as fine or coarse as you like before combining with the mayonnaise. Add 1 tablespoon miso, stir, and taste. Then decide if you want more miso or mayonnaise. Serve on toasted bread.
— Recipe developed by Kate Bittman
Quick Katsu-Style Chicken with Miso
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 45 minutes
Great for rice or noodle bowls or terrific sandwiches.
6-8 boneless chicken thighs, or 2-3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup any miso
Salt and black pepper
1 cup panko, or homemade breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon good-quality vegetable oil
Soy sauce, lemon wedges, and pickles, for serving, optional
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment for easier cleanup. Spread 6 or 8 boneless chicken thighs into the pan, with the smooth side—where the skin once was—down. (Or use 2 or 3 chicken breasts, rubbed generously in a good-quality vegetable oil.)
2. Put 1/4 cup Dijon mustard in a small bowl with 1/4 cup any miso—remembering the darker the color the more intense the flavor. Grind in some black pepper if you’d like and stir with a fork until smooth.
3. Use the fork to smear the tops of the chicken thighs with the miso-mustard, working it into the nooks and crannies. Put 1 cup panko (or homemade) breadcrumbs in a clean bowl. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon good-quality vegetable oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and toss until they’re coated.
4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the chicken in a thin layer (if some gets on the parchment that’s fine, too) and bake without turning until the chicken is no longer pink when you nick and peek into the thickest thigh the crumbs are crisp and golden, 20 to 30 minutes (or 15 to 20 minutes for breasts).
5. Slice the thighs into strips if you’d like and serve with soy sauce, lemon wedges, and pickles and whatever other condiments you like.
— Recipe developed by Kerri Conan