Karate Kid was one of three movies we had on VHS as kids, so the reticent handyman from Okinawa had a profound influence.
I've tried healing sore muscles with his hand-rubbing technique, and I've practiced his crane kick enough to like to think that I'd put Johnny in a body bag should we ever cross paths.
I know that's not Mr. Miyagi on the lid, but just as he had an answer for everything, what's inside pretty much is the answer to everything.
Miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans (and sometimes grains) to varying shades and strengths.
Used as a marinade for proteins, stirred into mashed potatoes, or swirled into a compound butter, miso brings that elusive fifth flavor, umami, into delicious (if still a bit difficult to describe) focus.
Dishes enriched with miso taste balanced, and as our sensei taught us: First learn balance. Balance good, karate good, everything good. Balance bad, might as well pack up, go home.
Its health benefits, of which there are many, dwindle when heated, so I tend to keep it raw and in black belt fighting form.
Miso versatile dressing
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, microplaned
- 1 small clove garlic, microplaned
- 1/4 cup white miso
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. tamari
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. mirin
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. neutral oil (like grapeseed)
Combine all ingredients in a lidded container (or, if you don't mind cleaning it, in a blender) and shake (or blend) until homogenous. Use a little water to achieve the consistency you are after and eat on everything for up to a week.