Cook with miso for your loved ones and stay warm and healthy!
According to Dr. Keiko Kamachi of Tokyo’s Women’s University of Nutrition, miso (fermented soy bean paste) is high in vitamin B and protein, which is easily digested and absorbed by our body—beefing up our immune system.
Japanese cooking with this fermented super food, such as today's duck recipe or next week's udon soup, keeps us warm and strengthens our body’s defensive capability against the flu virus during the winter months.
Anywhere you visit in Japan, you will find regional types of miso paste produced by long-established family-run businesses using traditional methods and one must-have ingredient—the micro-organism that dwells in miso makers' old wooden buildings. As a chef and cooking teacher, I do not buy mass produced miso paste sold at big super markets. My parents and I love Gujo miso paste sold at small local shops, and we use it daily—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
We live in Seki, a town located about half an hour drive by express way to Gujo-Hachiman. As we speak, the town of Gujo-Hachiman is snowed in. Sure, spring is just around the corner, but we still have some frigid nights ahead of us before the cold breaks and the cherry blossoms bloom. Until then, keep your loved ones warm cooking with miso—Japanese cuisine’s most versatile staple. This week we’ll cook my specialty duck appetizer. Next week on the blog we’ll be making hearty miso udon soup with oysters, so make sure to check back!
Pan-fried duck breast fillet with kuwayaki sauce 鴨のくわ焼き
- 1 duck breast fillet
- 20 negi shallots cut into 5cm long slices
- 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- kona sanshou (ground Japanese pepper) as needed
For kuwayaki sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons sake
- Mix soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a small bowl to make kuwayaki sauce.
- Slice duck meat 5mm thick pieces.
- Pan-fry shallots in a dry frying pan until lightly brown. Set them aside in a bowl.
- Pour 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into a frying pan, cook all the slices at once on high heat until blood comes out of the meat.
- Turn the slices over and cook the other side.
- Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for about a minute. This ensures the kuwayaki sauce will not burn.
- Pour all kuwayaki sauce into the pan and add shallots.
- Serve with ground Japanese pepper.
*Do not overcook the duck meat or it loses its juice and tenderness.
I love serving this dish as an appetizer or alongside a hearty udon or soba noodle soup. If you're hungry, feel free to double the recipe! For my famous miso udon noodle soup, be sure to check out the blog next week!
To view Shuji’s cooking lessons, visit his youtube channel.
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