Miso Chicken Stir-Fry
There's sour, sweet, salty and bitter... and then there's “umami.” That's the Japanese term for the “fifth” taste sensation, a delicious meaty or savory taste. This taste comes from glutamates, and can be found in anchovies, soy sauce, fish sauce and tomatoes. This dish, made with miso (fermented soybean paste) is, to use our term, “umami-licious.”
Tips for Two: Leftover canned broth keeps for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in your freezer. Leftover broths in aseptic packages keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Add to soups, sauces and stews; use for cooking rice and grains; add a little when reheating leftovers to prevent them drying out.
Notes: Miso is fermented soybean paste made by inoculating a mixture of soybeans, salt and grains (usually barley or rice) with koji, a beneficial mold. Aged for up to 3 years, miso is undeniably salty, but a little goes a long way. Akamiso (red miso), made from barley or rice and soybeans, is salty and tangy, and the most commonly used miso in Japan. Use in marinades for meat and oily fish, and in long-simmered dishes. Shiromiso (sweet or white miso), made with soy and rice, is yellow and milder in flavor; use for soup, salad dressings and sauces for fish or chicken.
Mirin is a low-alcohol rice wine essential to Japanese cooking. Look for it in the Asian or gourmet-ingredients section of your supermarket. An equal portion of sherry or white wine with a pinch of sugar may be substituted for mirin.