The Miso Book: The Art of Cooking with Miso

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9780757000287: The Miso Book: The Art of Cooking with Miso

For centuries, the preparation of miso has been considered an art form in Japan. Through a time-honored process, soybeans and grains are transformed into thiswondrous food, which is both a flavorful addition to a variety of dishes and a powerful medicinal. Scientific research has supported miso’s use as an effective therapeutic aid in the prevention and treatment of a range of disorders. Part One of this guide begins with miso basics―its types and uses. A chapter called “Miso Medicine” then details this superfood’s healing properties and role in maintaining good health. Easy directions for making miso at home are also found in Part One. Then Part Two presents over 140 healthy recipes in which miso is used in dips, spreads, soups, and much more. Whether you are in search of healthful foods or you simply want a delicious new take on old favorites, The Miso Book may be just what the doctor ordered.

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About the Author:

John and Jan Belleme are the country’s leading authorities on miso and other traditional Japanese foods. After living in Japan, where they learned the craft of miso-making firsthand,

the Bellemes co-founded the American Miso Company. Their extensive research on Japanese foods has resulted in four books and over a hundred articles. Currently, the Bellemes are involved with A Taste of Health, a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of natural foods through education.



John and Jan Belleme are the country’s leading authorities on miso and other traditional Japanese foods. After living in Japan, where they learned the craft of miso-making firsthand,

the Bellemes co-founded the American Miso Company. Their extensive research on Japanese foods has resulted in four books and over a hundred articles. Currently, the Bellemes are involved with A Taste of Health, a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of natural foods through education. 

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The world’s most ancient cultivated plants were not grains and vegetables but rather microscopic organisms―molds, yeast, and bacteria―that cause foods to ferment. Our ancestors stumbled upon the fermentation process, probably quite by accident, when they discovered that adding the right amount of salt to food prevented it from spoiling. The salt also transformed the molecular structure of the food, making it more flavorful and digestible. Through the magic of fermentation, we have learned to harness the microbial world to do our “fireless cooking,” transforming such foods as cabbage into sauerkraut, cucumbers into pickles, and milk into yogurt and cheeses. In Japan, through a centuries-old double-fermentation process, soybeans and grains are transformed into miso―one of the country’s most revered culinary treasures.

For the Japanese, miso preparation is considered an art form, and those who prepare it are considered Masters. As a food, miso is used to flavor and enhance the nutritional value of a wide variety of savory and satisfying dishes. As a folk remedy, it has been successfully used to treat digestive problems, cancer, radiation sickness, tobacco poisoning, and even low libido―to the point that its healing properties have been confirmed by modern science. With varieties that offer an incredible diversity of colors, tastes, and textures, miso is no longer a secret of Eastern cuisine. This Japanese fermented food is slowly expanding its reach, stimulating the creativity of cooks around the world.

Japan is a densely populated island with scant natural resources. During preindustrial times, the very survival of the Japanese people may well have depended on the development of their unique and diversified fermentation processes. In fact, Japan’s two most important foods, rice and soybeans, have been preserved for centuries through the miso-making process. Before the advent of refrigeration and food pre­servatives, miso was the country’s emergency ration of choice, and every family had a keg stored away for hard times. Indeed, with its essential vitamins and minerals and excellent balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, miso is one of nature’s perfect survival foods. Properly stored, miso can provide life-sustaining nourishment decades after it is made.

Until modern times, most Japanese families started their day with a bowl of miso soup (many still do). In fact, it is not unusual for families living in the countryside, where there are fewer food choices, to have miso several times a day. According to our miso teacher, Takamichi Onozaki, as recently as the 1960s, it was common for rural families to make their own miso or buy unfermented (raw) miso from the local miso maker to ferment in their homes. Each family took pride in fermenting its own miso, and the subtle difference between various homemade varieties was often the subject of endless conversation. This preference for “home brews” extended beyond the home to include hundreds of local variations, which represented the different regions and climates of the Japanese islands. Names such as Tsugaru, Kaga, Gozen, Sanuki, Fuchu, and Setouchi are just a few of the hundreds of local and regional varieties of miso, each with its own characteristic flavor, texture, and color.

The Miso Book includes everything you will ever want to know about this healthy, delicious, and versatile food. Part One, appropriately titled “All About Miso,” includes three informative chapters on various aspects of miso. Chapter 1, “Shedding Light on Miso,” presents some miso basics―how it is made, the ingredients used, and the various types. It also offers helpful tips on how to determine product quality before making a miso purchase. Chapter 2, “Miso Medicine,” offers a comprehensive report on miso’s incredible health benefits, which are supported by the scientific research of several countries (as well as traditional Japanese folklore). Little-known facts about miso’s extraordinary healing power will amaze and inspire you to include this food in your daily diet. Chapter 3 guides you in “Making Miso at Home.” Before the Second World War, it was common for the Japanese people to make their own miso, using generations-old family recipes. This chapter offers clear, easy-to-follow instructions to help you start your own family tradition of putting up miso.

Rounding out Part One are two fascinating insets on the production of this Japanese mainstay. In “The Miso Master’s Apprentice,” you’ll hear the true story of the apprenticeship we served under miso master Takamichi Onozaki. It was in his small family-run shop in rural Japan that we learned the ancient craft of miso making―an experience that changed our lives forever. “Breakfast of Em­per­ors” takes a look at one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious miso factories. More than a business, the Hatcho Miso Company is a Japanese institution; one that has also has played an important role in Japan’s military history.

Part Two of The Miso Book begins with a chapter that details everything you’ll need to know when cooking with this exceptional food. It includes general guidelines as well as specific tips for using miso to create dishes that are both healthful and delicious. The balance of chapters in Part Two offers over 140 easy-to-follow recipes that include miso in a wide variety of appetizers, entrées, and everything in between. You’ll find flavorful salad dressings, satisfying soups, delicious sauces, sensational seafood dishes, and much, much more. Many of these recipes are traditional family favorites, some are new creations, and others are adaptations of dishes we’ve enjoyed at fine restaurants. Best of all, the recipes are easy to prepare―even the novice cook will find success.

Miso is a super food; by simply having a bowl of miso soup each day, you can begin to experience its health benefits. But if you want to enjoy miso’s full culinary potential, incorporate it a number of dishes, beginning with the choices offered in this book. With miso as a part of your diet, you’ll soon discover for yourself why it is considered such a dietary asset in the Japanese cuisine.

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Book Description Square One Publishers, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. For centuries, the preparation of miso has been considered an art form in Japan. Through a time-honored process, soybeans and grains are transformed into thiswondrous food, which is both a flavorful addition to a variety of dishes and a powerful medicinal. Scientific research has supported miso s use as an effective therapeutic aid in the prevention and treatment of a range of disorders. Part One of this guide begins with miso basics--its types and uses. A chapter called Miso Medicine then details this superfood s healing properties and role in maintaining good health. Easy directions for making miso at home are also found in Part One. Then Part Two presents over 140 healthy recipes in which miso is used in dips, spreads, soups, and much more. Whether you are in search of healthful foods or you simply want a delicious new take on old favorites, The Miso Book may be just what the doctor ordered. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780757000287

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Book Description Square One Publishers, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. For centuries, the preparation of miso has been considered an art form in Japan. Through a time-honored process, soybeans and grains are transformed into thiswondrous food, which is both a flavorful addition to a variety of dishes and a powerful medicinal. Scientific research has supported miso s use as an effective therapeutic aid in the prevention and treatment of a range of disorders. Part One of this guide begins with miso basics--its types and uses. A chapter called Miso Medicine then details this superfood s healing properties and role in maintaining good health. Easy directions for making miso at home are also found in Part One. Then Part Two presents over 140 healthy recipes in which miso is used in dips, spreads, soups, and much more. Whether you are in search of healthful foods or you simply want a delicious new take on old favorites, The Miso Book may be just what the doctor ordered. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780757000287

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