Wednesday, March 14, 2012

forbidden rice salad with miso dressing.

someone has a new favorite ingredient.

ever since i discovered that fateful pureed carrot miso soup, the miso kick has been in full swing. you name it: stir fry, salad, soup - it's going to get a healthy dollop of miso.

i'm surprised it took me so long to discover the ingredient's versatility. it's probably not unusual to associate the paste with the classic (and not always so appetizing) miso soup appetizer you get at most pan-asian restaurants. i just never realized to what extent these soups were underselling the ingredient. 

these days, i've been loving just diluting a teaspoon of miso paste in a bit of soy sauce and water, and using that as a stir fry sauce for my vegetables. two salty ingredients = never having to independently salt my dishes = people don't call me out on having a "salt problem" whenever we cook together. (yes, i'm sneaky like that).

this salad is a great potluck dish. it can be served warm, room temperature, or chilled, and it's so easy to prepare ahead of time. i'm a particular fan of the complementary mix of textures and flavors: some broccoli and edamame for crunch, tofu for a satisfying protein, and cilantro and toasted sesame seeds for that little kick. another bonus: this recipe makes a fair amount of dressing, the remains of which you can store in the fridge for up to a week (just in case you needed another stir fry sauce or salad dressing...).

forbidden rice salad with miso dressing
adapted from sprouted kitchen

1 cup forbidden rice
14 oz. block extra firm tofu

1 head broccoli
4 tsp. sesame oil

4 tsp. soy sauce
fresh ground pepper

1.5 cups thinly sliced carrots

2 cups cooked, shelled edamame
6 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

2 handfuls of chopped cilantro

miso dressing

2 tbsp. white miso

1 tbsp. red miso*
4 tbsp. agave nectar or brown rice syrup

2 tbsp. sesame oil
5 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 shallots, minced

juice of an orange

rinse the rice. bring 1.5 cups water to a boil. add the rice, turn the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about a half hour).

drain the tofu by wrapping it between a few layers of paper towel and letting it sit for 10 minutes. repeat once (or twice, if you’re feeling really ambitious). cut it into cubes. heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. throw the tofu and broccoli in and saute for about five minutes. add in the soy sauce and some fresh pepper over the top and saute another few minutes until the edges are browned. turn the heat off and set aside. 

whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.

in a large bowl, throw together the rice, tofu, sliced carrots, and edamame. toss everything with the dressing. toast some sesame seeds in a dry pan and add those and the cilantro to the dish. give it another toss. serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

*alternatively, you use a total of 4 tbsp. white miso. red miso is a bit stronger than white, so you need less of it.