CHICAGO – Just You and Miso





Welcome to a special edition for Valentine’s Week at  Yes, I said “week”.  Doesn’t your special someone deserve more than just a day from you?  I know it’s also Mardi Gras today and I could have chosen that route instead but that also means it’s the first week of Lent too and the three recipes in this entry are devoid of meat so that works too.  But this about you and your partner and I’ve put together a few recipes using the wonderful flavor of miso that are so popular in modern cuisine for you to try together.

I am a child of the seventies and I certainly have strong recollections of the music my parents used to listen to.  I was too young to really appreciate the complex rhythms, the interplay of the horns and percussion, and the legendary guitar playing from the late Terry Kath.  These are feel good songs that evoke a lot of great memories and innocence.  Chicago’s music has left an enduring impression on me that I’m happy to share this week.

I’m giving you three ideas for miso that you can do as a three-course meal too for Valentine’s Day together.  I don’t do desserts as you’ve probably realized if you’ve been following this blog.  Some of you who check in regularly or from time to time do such amazing things with dessert recipes I could never compare.  Miso paste is available in most supermarkets and certainly every Asian specialty grocery.  It’s very healthy and flavorful when combined with other seasonings.  So, have some fun cooking with each other this week and share the good times and memories to come.  And to my better half, “You are my love and my life.  You are my inspiration.  Just you and me, simple and free.  Baby, you’re everything I’ve ever dreamed of.”






Miso Soup with Ramen Noodles and Vegetables


2 Eggs

¼ Purple Cabbage, cored and sliced thin

1 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar

1 TSP Sugar

5 oz. Ramen Noodles

4 cups Vegetable Broth

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 TBSP Sesame Oil

2 oz. sliced White Button Mushrooms

½ small Daikon Radish, peeled and sliced thin

3 Scallions, diced, white and green parts divided

1 TSP Dashi

1 TBSP Soy Sauce

2 TBSP White Miso paste

Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste



  1. In a small pot boil enough water to cover the Eggs by a couple inches. Once boiling carefully add the Eggs to the pot without cracking the shells.  Boil for exactly 8 minutes.  Remove the Eggs from the pot and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking process for about 1 minute.  Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl place the Cabbage strips, the Vinegar, and the Sugar. Stir a few times and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large pot cook the Ramen Noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and immediately wash with cold water to stop the cooking process for about 1 minute.  Set aside.
  4. While the Cabbage marinates, and the Noodles cook, in a large pot heat the Vegetable Broth to a boil then turn the heat till the Broth is just at a simmer
  5. While the Broth is heating in a medium frying pan heat the Oils on medium. Add Mushroom, Radishes, Cabbage, and the white parts of the Scallions and fry for about 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat.
  6. Add the Vegetables to the Broth and give a quick stir. Add the Dashi, Soy Sauce, and Miso and stir.  Add the green parts of the Scallions.  Turn off the heat.
  7. Peel the Eggs and slice in half.
  8. Label the Soup into 2 bowls and add two Egg halves to each. Season the Eggs and Soup with Salt and Pepper and serve immediately.


Garden Salad with Miso Dressing


1 TSP Finely chopped fresh peeled Ginger

1 TBSP White Miso paste

½ TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar

1 TSP Soy Sauce

1 TSP Honey

½ TBSP Sesame Oil

1 ½ TBSP Peanut Oil

4 oz. Spring Mix Lettuces

1 large Carrot, peeled and shaved

½ pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, halved



  1. Make the dressing first. In a small bowl combine the Ginger, Miso, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Honey, and Oils and stir together until well blended.
  2. In a large salad bowl place the Lettuce, Carrot shavings and Tomatoes. Top with the dressing and toss until combined.
  3. Serve on salad plates or into salad bowls


Grilled Salmon with Miso Glaze


½ TBSP Crystalized Ginger finely chopped into powder

1 TBSP Red Miso paste

1 TBSP Mirin

2 TSP Soy Sauce

2 6 oz. Salmon filets

2 TSP Olive Oil

Fine Sea Salt, to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste



  1. Make the glaze first. Combine Ginger, Miso, Mirin, and Soy Sauce in a small bowl.  Stir together until blended.
  2. Rub 1 TSP Olive Oil over each Salmon filet. Season with Salt and Pepper.  Let rest on a plate while you prepare your grill.
  3. Prepare a grill or grill pan for cooking. Spray with cooking spray and heat on high.
  4. When grill is ready place each Salmon filet on the grill or grill pan and cook on one side for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook on opposite side for 2 minutes than apply a layer of glaze on the top cooked side.
  5. Grill 2 minutes longer and remove filets from heat to a warmed plate. Flip again and apply another layer of glaze. Let sit 2 minutes on plate before serving.
  6. Serve immediately on separate plates with Jasmine rice and your favorite green vegetable such as broccoli or asparagus.



WINE PAIRINGSake would make a lot of sense here and you can’t go wrong there.  This is a romantic dinner for two so Champagne or any Sparkling Wine would do the trick even and the flavors work but not ideally.  A fruity white wine such as a Fume Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc is also a good match for all three of these dishes.  A Riesling would also match the Salmon dish very well.

Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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