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Miso & Mochi

October 3, 2011

The temperature is finally cooler. The sun is hidden behind the clouds. Today is a perfect day for a bowl of miso soup. Miso is something that I always have in my fridge (although because it is fermented, it doesn’t require refrigeration). I like mellow white (also called sweet white) miso because of its mild flavor and versatility. Generally speaking, the lighter the color, the younger and sweeter it is. Miso is a traditional form of fermented soybeans (or other beans and a combination of grains). It has beneficial enzymes that are naturally occurring, which aid in digestion. In order to maintain the integrity of the live cultures, miso should never be boiled: simply add hot water to it.

Miso soup is a great vehicle to incorporate sea vegetables (seaweed) into your diet. Today I added Wakame, one of the most versatile of sea vegetables. Sea vegetables are rich in minerals and trace minerals, which are incredibly important today because our soil has become depleted of these nutrients. Wakame is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin B and C. You can find dried seaweeds in the Asian section of some supermarkets and most natural food stores. When soaked in cold water, it literally quadruples in size, so depending on how much you want to eat, keep this in mind. I like Wakame because it has a mild flavor compared to most sea vegetables.

Ingredients prepped to add to soup

Thinning miso paste with hot water

Ingredients on top of thinned miso paste

Hot water added

Miso Soup


Kale, chopped (approximately 1/3 cup)

Purple Cabbage, sliced thin (approximately 1/3 cup)

Fresh Cilantro (approximately 1/4 cup)

Pea Shoots (approximately 1/4 cup)

Dried Wakame, 1 teaspoon soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and drained

Fresh Ginger Root, 1-2 thin slices

Sesame Oil, drizzle

Chili Flakes, pinch

Miso, 1 tablespoon


Bring 1.5 to 3 cups of water to a boil, then turn off heat

Spoon 1 tablespoon of miso into your large soup bowl

Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water to thin your miso (to the consistency of heavy cream)

Add your desired vegetables and pour hot water over ingredients to cover

Drizzle with sesame oil and a small pinch of chili flakes

Other Ingredients to Try:

Tofu, Soba Noodles, Brown Rice, Shaved Carrot, Spinach, Shiitake Mushrooms, Scallions, Fresh Garlic

Now on to dessert: Mochi. This treat, made from pounding short grain brown rice, is on my approved “packaged food” list. Available in the refrigerator section (next to miso, kim chi, eggs, cheeses, etc.) of Whole Food and natural food stores, you can buy mochi in sheets, to then cut into squares and bake. When baked, mochi puffs up and becomes crisp on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside. Mochi is a traditional Japanese food, popular in the Macrobiotic diet. I love it baked, with a schmear of nut butter for a snack. Mochi comes in a variety of flavors, including cinnamon & raisin, date & cashew and multi-grain.

Baked Cinnamon Raisin Mochi Squares with Creamy Cashew Butter

Baking Instructions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees

With a heavy sharp knife, cut mochi into 1” squares and lay on top of a parchment lined baking sheet (at least 1” apart)

Bake for 5-10 minutes, until mochi puffs up and becomes golden brown

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