Miso Rice with Sprouts

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What’s warm, vibrant, fluffy, comforting, and good for you? Guess again- it’s not a brightly coloured cat with amazing listening skills. That would have been awesome, but what I have today is miso rice with sprouts, and it also happens to be the perfect thing to improve a cold, grey, and rainy Monday when you happen to be stuck at home with a nasty cough.

What is miso? I hear you ask. Well, miso is a tasty traditional Japanese ingredient that’s made from fermented soybeans and sometimes rice. It has a wonderful salty and umami taste that compliments many dishes. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, chances are you’ve already encountered miso in the form of miso soup, a soup made with miso, fish stock (called dashi), seaweed, and tofu.

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Nutritionally speaking, miso is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids needed to make the body function. It is also high in vitamin B12, a vitamin that’s difficult to obtain for vegans and vegetarians. However, miso contains a lot of salt, and one single tablespoon of miso contains 641 mg of sodium, 25% of a person’s daily nutritional requirement. So remember- everything in moderation!

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The sprouts in this recipe are alfalfa sprouts. I sprout them next to the kitchen window using a glass jar and a mesh lid. And I must say, watching seeds grow and bloom into vibrant and delicate sprouts is such an interesting and exciting experience! It feels like I’m doing a cool science project for secondary school.

It’s not as difficult as you think- you only have to rinse the seeds a few times a day, and you’ll be rewarded with a jar full of sprouts at the end of the week, just like magicHere is a handy guide if you’re interested in sprouting your own greens, and there are many more internet resources out there if you care to look.

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This recipe is quick. And I mean, quick. It’s 10-minutes-from-start-to-finish quick. I used some leftover white rice for this recipe, but I have a feeling that brown rice would be a terrific alternative, as would barley and buckwheat. I didn’t add any salt because the miso is quite salty enough to flavour the entire dish. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled, so you can make as much as you like.

Oh, and if you look closely at the pictures you might notice the bowl isn’t very clean. I used it to dissolve miso in water when I was making the recipe, and I thought I wouldn’t bother washing it off since it’s the same flavours.
Am I lazy? Guilty as charged. 😉

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Miso Rice with Sprouts Recipe
(Serves 1)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon miso paste
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 cup white rice
3/4 cups alfalfa sprouts (about 2 handfuls)
parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together miso paste and water to form a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Heat up sesame oil in a pan over low-medium heat. Add in rice and break up any clumps with a spatula.
  3. When rice is thoroughly warmed through, stir in the thinned out miso paste.
  4. Add in alfalfa sprouts and stir well to distribute evenly. Take the pan off the heat when the sprouts just start to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pile into a bowl and sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!
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