In Aichi prefecture, in central Japan, there is a local dish called Miso Stewed Udon (miso nikomi udon) which is made with wide, pasta-like udon noodles. Often it has chicken meat in it, which is another local speciality.
Most Aichi food is miso-based, and where a dish will use other flavourings in different regions of Japan, in Aichi they will nearly always use miso.
And the miso in Aichi is different, too. It is made with soy koji, and is called Aka Miso (Red Miso) or Hacho Miso. It’s almost black in colour and has a very particular taste.
One weekend I found some chicken breasts in the fridge, and taking a hint from miso stewed udon, stewed them with tomatoes, soy beans and red miso.
Soy beans are so full of protein, and the amino acids we need, that they are called “meat from the vegetable patch.” And they are rich in isoflavone and lots of other nutrients, too. Almost all the Japanese staples – miso, soy sauce, tofu etc – are made from soy beans, so maybe that is one of the reasons that Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world..?
I don’t know, but they certainly taste great!
Try making this chicken stew, and taste it before and after you put in the miso to see what a difference it makes!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 200g boiled soy beans
- 1 onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 600g stewed tomatoes
- 200cc vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red miso
1. Heat some olive oil in a heavy pan and gently fry the onions.
2. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, cut into bit-size chunks and fry with the onions until the surface is cooked.
3. Add the tomatoes, soy beans, vegetable stock and red wine, drop in your bay leaf and stew on a medium heat.
4. Finally, mix in the red miso and balsamic vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste, and your chicken miso stew is ready. Don’t forget to taste it before you add the miso!