Monday, 30 May 2011

Me-So Happy

Salty, bitter, sour, and sweet are basic primary sensations of taste.

Everyone knows about those four taste sensations and I'm pretty sure most of us can remember sitting in science class and seeing a diagram of a big fat tongue depicting the areas where each taste receptor lays.

Or was I the only nerd that paid super close attention and highlighted my text books?

Regardless, there is another important taste sensation and it is sensational!

Pardon my bad joke, but the fifth taste sensation of unami or savouriness actually translates from Japanese to "pleasant savoury taste" or in more broad terms, deliciousness. Sensational!

Things like mushrooms, tomatoes, and many Asian pastes all have great unami flavours. The actual flavour is hard to describe, but the best way I can think of it is that they all give a long lasting meaty taste that coats your tongue and tastes great.

One of my favourite unami flavours is from miso. And for those of you who are accustomed to Canadian Chinese cuisine only (me until I began living with Luke), miso does not mean soup in Japanese.

Miso is a paste. It comes in different strengths, flavours, and colours, ranging from white to deep red, and can be made from fermented rice, barley, and soy beans.

Red miso is made with soy beans and has a very salty flavour. White miso is made with barley or rice and is much sweeter than its cousin.

You can eat miso not only in just soup, but also on veggies, meats, as a dip, to marinate, and to make sauces.

I didn't know that coating coating corn on the cob in miso, covering it in foil, and grilling it was a Japanese thing but it even has a name - shiro miso. I only cringed and thought "why would you do that?" as Luke poured my Philly Miso Chicken sauce over his corn on the cob. I guess this time he knew best.

Only this time though :)

Here is my video showing how I intended the sauce to be served. And while I love eating this sauce, I know it's not authentic Japanese cooking. Can you imagine Japanese restaurants pulling out the apple sauce and cream cheese?

I don't care though; my Miso Sauce makes Me-So Happy.

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