Hard Recipes

Miso Chicken with Bell Peppers

Whether you’re cooking up Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Southeast Asian dishes, you will start to see a commonality between the cuisines for creating a salty, savory, umami base flavor. That shared and loved taste in so many dishes across Asia is from variations of Fermented Bean Paste.

There’s chili bean paste (la dou ban jiang 豆瓣酱) or black bean paste in Chinese cooking; spicy bean paste (gochujang) in Korean cooking; and white, red or yellow miso bean paste in Japanese cooking.

The varieties are as endless as the types of dishes you can use them in – soups & stews, marinades & braises, salad dressings & sauces. Fermented bean pastes are also an easy way to add a complex, rich flavor to stir-fries as I’ve done here in this recipe for Miso Chicken with Bell Peppers.

If you don’t yet have a fermented bean paste in your refrigerator, but you are interested in trying it out in recipes, start with the type of bean paste associated with your favorite Asian cuisine. But if you like to cook up a good variety of Asian dishes, and don’t want to get a bean paste that limits your recipe selection, then I recommend starting with a mild, yellow Japanese miso paste.

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Yellow miso is highly versatile, and can be used as a stand-in for other bean pastes that you may not have ready in your kitchen when a recipe asks for it. It’s also very easy to find as it seems to be available in most grocery stores now.

For this Miso Chicken with Bell Peppers recipe, I used just one tablespoon of yellow miso paste to give the stir-fry a delicious, savory base, and then sprinkled in Japanese Seven Spice to give it a kick. The fun part about this recipe is you can transform it into a Sichuan-style dish by just substituting in chili bean paste.

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Enjoy this Miso Chicken with Bell Peppers with a bowl of steamed rice, and a cup of Gunpowder green tea.

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Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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