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Jul 1, 2015

From Mr & Mrs Igarashi’s Modern Kitchen: Miso Cheese

Miso cheese started gaining popularity about four or five years ago when magazines and TV shows started featuring this ingredient. This is a very versatile ingredient that can be consumed in a variety of ways – you can stuff it into an onigiri to eat for breakfast, replace buffalo cheese with miso cheese in a caprese salad for lunch, or mix it in with pasta for dinner.

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So, how does it taste? Well, the fragrance from the miso is infused into the cheese, which creates a completely new type of umami flavour. As you know, the umami from miso is similar to that of kombu whereas the umami from cheese is more similar to that of bonito flakes. When combined, miso and cheese create a wonderfully unique umami flavour.

In addition to its versatility as an ingredient, miso cheese is purported to have several health and beauty benefits. Some of these benefits include stimulating your metabolism, which helps promote health and weight loss efforts. It also helps activate the good bacteria in your stomach; the stablisation of your intestinal activity helps boost your overall immune system. The enzymes found in miso are great for helping digest protein, and because cheese is full of protein, these enzymes act as a booster to digest the protein. This is less stressful for your digestion system on a whole. In Japan, miso cheese is referred to as a ‘progressive digestive ingredient’. One thing to note, these enzymes get destroyed in temperatures above 48°Celsius, so miso cheese works best in cold or raw dishes.

In the recipes you’ll find on the adjacent pages, we’ve selected dishes that are typically eaten during those hot Japanese summer months. Because people tend to lose their appetite due to the heat, we’ve incorporated sour-tasting ingredients such as umeboshi and vinegar, which help stimulate appetite. We hope you enjoy!

(Text Vanessa Tai Photography Hideyuki Kawata Recipes Translation Yuichi)

How To Prepare Miso Cheese

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Ingredients:
Appropriate quantity of miso
40g cream cheeseThis fascinating combination brings together two fermented foods, miso and cheese. Both miso and cheese have bold flavours, which are due to the inosinic acid in cheese and the glutamic acid in miso. Adding miso cheese as a topping or blending it into a sauce can elevate an ordinary meal into something much more delicious.Directions:
1. Place miso in an airtight container and create a hollow where you can place
the cheese.
2. Place cream cheese into the hollow and cover it with miso. Preserve it overnight in a refrigerator. Use within a week.* You may use camembert, mozzarella, and processed cheese in place of cream cheese.

Chilled Tofu with Miso Cheese Tomato Sauce

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The rich flavours of the miso cheese are complemented by the refreshing flavours of tomato and parsley, making this dish a delight to eat. In addition, the citric acid in vinegar helps you recover from tiredness. The Japanese often use vinegar in their cooking to stave off exhaustion from the summer heat.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

300g silken tofu
1 tomato
20g miso cheese
A few sprigs of parsley
2 tsps of the miso used in the making of miso cheese
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

1. Cut tomato and miso cheese in 1-cm dices. Chop parsley finely.
2. Place miso, vinegar, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix. Add tomato and miso cheese, then mix.
3. Place tofu on a plate. Pour the sauce and place the finely chopped parsley atop the tofu, and serve.

Potato Salad with Ume Miso Cheese

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This potato salad comes with green onions and umeboshi and is a refreshing dish for the
summer. The sour taste in umeboshi is great for stimulating a waning appetite. This dish
is best accompanied with a bottle
of chilled sake.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

200g potato
1 stalk green onion
10g umeboshi
20g miso cheese
1 tbs mayonnaise
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp of the miso used in the making of miso cheese

Directions:

1. Place potatoes and plenty of water in a pan, then cook over high heat. When it boils, cook over a low heat for 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Chop the green onion and umeboshi finely. Cut miso cheese in 7-mm dices.
2. Peel the potatoes while they are still hot. Place them in a bowl and mash. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, and miso, then mix.
3. Add green onion, umeboshi, and miso cheese, then mix.

Tip!
Cooking potatoes over a low heat brings out their sweetness.
If you do not have enough time, cook the peeled potatoes in a microwave oven for 4 to 5 minutes at 600w, which helps you save time.

igarashiProfile

Food consultants Go Igarashi and his wife, Yukari, are both food enthusiasts who eat, breathe, and live everything gourmet. They believe food goes beyond just function, and is an integral part of one’s lifestyle.

Official Website (Japanese)
http://foodcreativefactory.com/igarashi/