It is said to be excellent for health. In Japanese soups or on the menu of avant-garde restaurants, it delights us. On the shelves of organic stores, it catches our eye. But once in the kitchen, what do we do with it? To exploit the wonderful facets of miso, you must first understand what we are talking about. Miso comes from Japan, it descends from Chinese condiments called jiang, introduced to the Archipelago in the 6th century. To make it, you need soybeans, salt and koji, a ferment also used in the preparation of sake and soy sauce. You can add different cereals. The soybeans are cooked, ground and then mixed with the other ingredients to form a paste which ferments for a few weeks to several years. It can take on different colors, textures and aromas, but it is always salty and full of umami, the fifth flavor.
There are a multitude of misos, from Japanese regions. They are classified into three categories: white miso (shiro miso), rich in cereals such as rice or barley. It has the mildest, almost sweet flavor, light color and very volatile aromas. Red miso (aka miso) contains little or no grain, more salt and is the result of a long fermentation, taking on a dark brown color, dense texture and full-bodied flavor. “It has great aromatic complexity; by cooking it, we allow it to open up and express itself, explains Mory Sacko. White miso has a slightly less complex taste, it works well when eaten raw. » Finally, mixed miso (awase miso) is a mixture of white miso and red miso: neither too strong nor too mild, it is easy to dilute and lends itself to all uses. We mainly know miso in soup, but we must consider it as a condiment that can be eaten in all sauces. Mory Sacko understands this well: “I tend to use it from starter to dessert; miso is no longer original in my restaurant, he says with a laugh. The one I use the most is called “country miso”. It’s not fully mixed and has a bit of a rough texture. At MoSuke, I use it to season mafé beef. I also like white miso: although it is very sweet, it retains that salt which helps bring out the sugar in desserts. »
Read also: Chef portrait: Mory Sacko, journey into his African, Japanese and French cuisine
At the Louis Vuitton restaurant, opened on June 17 in Saint-Tropez, Mory Sacko has created a menu with Japanese influences where miso naturally finds its place. We can sense it in the “misonnaise eggs”, a mayonnaise that lets the round and tangy aromas of miso express themselves. “I never use mustard in mayonnaise,” explains the chef. I put some smooth white miso instead, which thickens the mayonnaise, gives it a special taste and allows me to not have to add salt. » A recipe to adopt urgently.
… Lacquerings and marinades
Still at Louis Vuitton, Mory uses miso to glaze eggplants. “We use a red miso that we mix with mirin and then add sesame oil. We lacquer the eggplant, put it in the oven and add a little lacquer on top at the end of cooking. If you want to try it at home, it’s easy, assures Mory. All you have to do is relax your miso with water and honey. It is applied with a brush to meat, fish or vegetables that are put in the oven, in the pan or on the barbecue. With the same base as the lacquering, you can also create a marinade by adding an oil – walnut, sesame or other. It’s excellent with poultry. »
Mory Sacko recommends trying miso caramel: “We make a classic caramel and, at the end, add a spoonful of miso. You get something that looks like salted caramel, except that the salt is provided by the miso. It’s super simple, but it can work on everything, a crème brûlée, a flan… On a sundae, it’s crazy-crazy. At MoSuke, we made a chocolate bar with miso caramel, I love it! »