I’ve always been fascinated by the health of Japanese people and the beautiful, porcelain skin that is so characteristic. I’ve dug in deeper into their eating habits and I realized that fermented products play a huge role in their daily diet. That’s how my journey into Japanese foods began.
Today, I’m going to show you four of my favourite fermented Japanese foods, including miso and amazake. They are all full of enzymes and beneficial lactobacteria, so they’re perfect if you’re trying to clear your skin or are simply looking for ways to improve your digestion.
Or simply live a longer and healthier life.
No idea how to use Japanese fermented procuts? Keep reading (or watching) for 5 healthy recipe ideas (including 2 heavenly desserts!)
Broccoli and Lentils With Genmai (Brown Rice) Miso (serves 2)
If you’re using dry lentils, soak them overnight and boil for around 40 minutes the next day until soft. Steam broccoli, sprinkle a little bit of salt.
Take 1 tbsp. of miso, add a little bit of warm water (you can reuse the water you used to steam the broccoli) and mix until it forms a paste.
Combine the vegetables in a bowl, pour the miso sauce on top, season with salt and pepper, and add a bit of ghee or butter for an extra creamy and nutritious touch.
Learn how you can make ghee at home here.
It’s a perfect recipe for lunch and we’ve been enjoying it as part of our balanced diet.
Perfectly Balanced Afternoon Snack with Miso and Tofu Pate
2 rye crispbreads (mine were with rye and sesame seeds)
Around a tablespoon of miso and tofu pate (you can buy it ready or make your own by blending tofu with a tiny bit of shiromiso, some soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and salt)
A few slices of cucumber
A drizzle of raw honey
Some gomashio for seasoning (or simply sprinkle some Himalayan salt and sesame seeds instead)
Spread the miso and tofu paste on the rye crispbreads, add a few slices of peeled cucumber on top, sprinkle with a bit of raw honey and gomashio for seasoning.
Healing Carrot and Ginger Soup (serves 4 people)
1 large onion (red or yellow)
4 medium carrots (chopped)
2 medium potatoes (cubed)
2 litres of organic vegetable stock (or homemade chicken broth if you have it)
1 tsp. curry powder (or follow your own taste)
1/2 tsp. ginger powder (or follow your own taste)
1/2 cup of coconut milk or cream if you like it heavier
2 tbsp. Mugi (barley or yellow) Miso
Start by melting the ghee in a large pot. Add the onion and cook with the lid closed for around 10 minutes until it softens. Add the carrots and potatoes, cook for 10 minutes until they soften a little bit. Stir from time to time.
Add the stock, salt, and spices. Stir. Half close the lid and cook for 30-40 minutes until all the vegetables are soft enough for your taste.
Mix 2 tbsp. of miso with a around 3-4 tbsp. of soup until it forms a paste. Divide the soup in 4 bowls, let it cool for a few mins, and then add the miso mixture. Add some coconut milk or cream, stir, and enjoy!
This soup is perfect if you have a sluggish digestion, constipation or acne. You must try it!
Light Your Fire Dessert Slices with Amazake (serves 4 people)
Slice and peel the apple and pear. You can also leave them unpeeled, but I prefer to have the peels off. Arrange them nicely on a large, flat plate. Spread a bit of Amazake on each slice. Sprinkle some raw cacao and finish with a pinch of ginger.
The mixture of raw cacao and ginger will give you energy and will fire up your metabolism, so it will be much easier to shed those unwanted pounds. It’s a perfect afternoon snack, and it’s great for kids, too!
The Creamiest Coconut Dessert with Amazake (serves 1)
2 tbsp. Amazake
3 tbsp. coconut cream (or milk if you want a lighter version)
1 tsp. of cinnamon
A pinch of organic vanilla powder
If it’s not sweet enough for you, you can also add a bit of honey, but I find that coconut cream is naturally sweet enough.
Just mix all the ingredients together, and voila! It’s my current favourite for those days when I finish dinner and I need something creamy and remotely sweet to complete my meal. This dessert serves its purpose every time and it’s so nutritious. It also takes literally one minute to prepare.
It’s a perfect dessert for kids and for anyone with weak digestion – the enzymes and probiotics in Amazake will take care of it in no time.
I hope you’ll enjoy all of these recipes, and next time you see a Japanese fermented product in your local health shop, grab it! They are so good and so incredibly versatile.
Lots of love,
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. I only recommend things that I absolutely love myself, and they’ve all been bought with my hard-earned cash.