I always have some miso paste in my fridge. There are 3 reasons for this: health, taste and laziness. Let’s start with the latter: if you’re lazy or in a hurry, you need a few easy recipes that are ready in 3 minutes. With some miso in your pantry you are able to whip up a beautiful sauce with only 2 ingredients, and turn your steamed vegetables into a delicious Asian meal.
My lazy kitchen strategy goes like this:
- I don’t feel like preparing an elaborate meal twice a day.
- we usually eat properly at lunchtime, so we want to eat a smaller meal at night. That’s why I always try to have some pre-cooked basmati rice in the fridge, which I can sauté in a pan with a little toasted sesame oil. I boil some vegetables to go with it – and that’s it.
- I love having a tasty sauce that turns the whole thing into a good meal. This is where the miso sauce comes in.
Miso is the ideal food for lazy, health-conscious foodies.
What is miso?
In Japanese cuisine, miso has a millennia-old tradition. It was first mentioned in writing in the 8th century. Miso is made by fermenting soybeans, water and steamed rice over many months. An acidic environment is created in which lactic acid bacteria, which occur naturally on soybeans, can multiply optimally. This turns miso into a probiotic food that takes care of our intestinal flora. The different colors of miso are caused by the different proportions of the ingredients. White miso has a higher rice content and tastes sweeter and milder than red or brown miso, which tends to have been fermented longer and has a lower rice and a higher soybean content.
How does miso taste?
The Japanese paste is salty and spicy. It has a meaty taste, which is described as the fifth flavor “umami”.
Why is miso so healthy?
Improvement of the intestinal flora
Fermented foods like miso have a positive effect on the intestinal flora because they contain probiotic lactic acid bacteria, which also naturally occur in our intestines. These promote a healthy and balanced intestinal flora, which protects us from health problems and diseases. It has long been known that fermented foods prevent diarrhea and have an anti-inflammatory effect. They could therefore play a role in the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases in the future. A laboratory study has already shown that the probiotic bacteria contained in miso have a strong anti-inflammatory effect on intestinal inflammation.
Prevention of stomach problems
Stomach problems can also be relieved by eating miso. In a survey of around 9,700 participants, Japanese researchers found that the daily consumption of miso can prevent stomach problems such as reflux or heartburn.
lowering blood pressure
Studies suggest that miso might help against high blood pressure. One study found that over a 5-year period, people who ate fermented soy products like miso every day were less likely to have high blood pressure than those who ate little or no miso. According to the researchers, it is probably the isoflavones that help against high blood pressure. Isoflavones are phytochemicals that are said to have many positive effects on our health. In fermented soy products, the isoflavones are present in a different form than in unfermented ones and can be easily absorbed by the body.
skin aging slowdown
Current research suggests that the isoflavones found in miso improve skin regeneration and thus prevent wrinkles by fighting free radicals. It is very likely that the probiotic bacteria also have a rejuvenating effect on the skin, as they support the intestines and thus indirectly improve skin health.
And now my question to you: are you already a fan of miso? Or do you intend to become one? I look forward to your comment below!
3-minute miso sauce
- In a bowl, mix miso paste with sesame oil. Add hot water slowly and stir until smooth. Add a little more water if necessary until the desired consistency is reached.
- If you like, you can add finely grated ginger or chopped garlic to the sauce.