Miso is one of those super versatile ingredients that I find myself using more and more. Miso is like Pink. Not pink the color, but Pink the artist. It seems like she’s never in the spotlight, drama-wise, at least, but in the last ten years, she’s had countless hit songs. I’m not a Pink fan, but somehow when I hear her songs, they kind of sound sort of familiar. Miso is just that like that — in the background, but always lurking, always familiar and always delicious.
I think of miso paste as super ubiquitous, but I actually did have a hard time finding it once. It was when we were living in Palm Springs. I asked at Ralph’s (the major grocery store chain) and the clerk asked her manager, but they only had instant miso soup — not exactly what I was looking for, but a good try. What I learned: if you’re looking for miso paste and you live somewhere with a lack of Asian grocery stores or Whole Foods, head to your local health food store, they usually have a pretty good selection.
It’s totally worth it to seek out and buy a tub of miso paste. It stays good for quite some time in the fridge and it’s for so much more than just soup! Here, I stirred some into oil and rice vinegar for a quick salad dressing with a umami-filled kick.
Miso Pasta Salad Recipe
serves 2, generously
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- squeeze of lemon juice
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup of your favorite shaped pasta
- 1 cup sliced red peppers
- 1 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup shredded chicken (optional)
- miso salad dressing, to taste
- sliced green onions
- sesame seeds, black or white
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso dressing ingredients. Taste and season with pepper.
Cook your pasta according the package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, peppers and cucumbers. Add the miso dressing a bit at a time, tossing and tasting. Top with green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy!