Some days I really can run out of inspiration on what to cook for dinners. The Man isn’t that fussy to cook for, just on some days, he needs his rice intake coupled with some home-cooked Chinese dishes. Also, cooking for 2 isn’t as simple as it seems. The portions that we get here are often too big for 2. A friend once commented that a packet of vegetables that she buys can sometimes feed her and her hubby for at least 2-3 meals.
Last evening, I had one of my uninspired dinner days moment [Hmm.. you kinda don't want me to cook on those days for I can come up with a really funny menu ]. I had marinated some chicken wings the night before and knew that there were some leftover French beans which I’d probably just par-boil. We needed carbs and I thought whipping up a pasta should do the trick except that I wanted to challenge myself and try making a pasta using Asian flavours.
Started texting my cousin who’s kinda a genius of a cook and she started telling me how to put together a pasta sauce using Miso paste as a key ingredient. As I started chopping the ingredients and prepping for the pasta dish, I was actually excited on how it would turn out…
And, the verdict? A MISO Yummy Pasta indeed!
Miso Yummy Pasta (Serves 2)
- 3 tablespoons of Miso paste
- 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced and diced)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 6-7 fresh portobello mushrooms (slice)
- 4-5 tablespoons of sugar
- 3-4 tables of Hua Tiao Wine (Chinese cooking wine)
- 1/2 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil
- Pasta for 2 (cooked al dente)
- Garnish: Parsley (optional)
- Add miso paste, sugar and Hua Tiao wine in a small bowl. Stir paste.
- Put bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir paste till sugar melts.
- Remove from heat, add the sesame oil and set marinade aside to cool.
- Prepare and cook pasta for 2. Set aside pasta and remember to retain 1/2 bowl of the pasta water to cook the sauce.
- In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute minced garlic and onions till translucent.
- Add in mushrooms and stir-fry till it’s almost cooked.
- Start to add miso paste into the cooked ingredients.
- Slowly add the cooled pasta water to the pan and stir in miso paste until desired consistency.
- Add in pasta and ensure that you cover pasta with the sauce.
- Leave pasta in pan so that it can absorb the sauce before serving.
- Add parsley as garnish and serve warm.
Here are some additional tips:
- Miso paste is generally salty, so the sugar and the Chinese cooking wine helps to balance and add a little sweetness in the sauce. Feel free to add more sugar and adjust the miso sauce marinade to your taste.
- If you do not have the Chinese cooking wine, you could substitute with Mirin. If that’s the case, you do not need to add sugar.
- If you eat chilli with just about everything, that you’d be pleased to know that you could also add in some sliced chilli into the miso marinade.
- The marinade could also go very well with chicken and fish. So you can prep a larger quantity of the marinade and keep the rest in the refrigerator to be used for another time.
Well, I hope you do get to try out this Japanese-inspired pasta dish and let me know what you think of it. As for me, I’m going to be making this simple and rather versatile marinade again. The next time round, it’s going to go on to some chicken wings I think or even aubergines. Mmmmm…. This recipe is definitely for keeps.