Meeting up with Miso Girls in India!

It was very nice to see Japanese people here in India. These twin sisters who we met for the first time were lovely interesting people.

They work for different Japanese companies in near New Delhi. At the same time as they work, they are titled to be “Miso Girls” in their private lives.

Who are Miso Girls!?

Japan Miso Press」 ,a newspaper that is distributed to companies in the miso industry in Japan and to events that young newly-became-mothers gather in Japan, named those women who love miso, “Miso Girls”.

And, the twin sisters, Mai and Aska, who are the miso girls in India, has set the soy beans in the process to make it miso in India.
I ran across the news of their activity in the May Edition of Japan Miso Press.

In the article, it says that Mai and Aska organized the event to make miso in New Delhi with other Japanese people who wish to eat fresh miso while they work in India as well. Those Japanese people often found Indian food too much or too less of something but not quite well fitted for as their every day meal. That is to me, pretty much understandable. I like Indian food, but I always love mother’s cooking.

スクリーンショット1(The image above is from the May 2014 Edition)

So those Japanese people gathered and set the soy beans with Koji to make it miso. It should be ready to eat by the summer, the article says.

I found another picture of Mai with another miso girl, Tomoko, who is working in Tokyo as a chief editor of Japan Miso Press.
スクリーンショット2(The image above is from the June 2014 Edition)

These are the soy beans that are now being fermented to be miso at Mai and Aska’s house.
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This is another miso, which Tomoko gave Mai and Aska. It is not yet ready to eat.
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This miso again from Tomoko is ready to eat.
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So, I contacted Japan Miso Press to ask them to introduce me to Mai and Aska. It seemed very interesting to meet them who are making miso in India!

We exchanged several messages over facebook and decided to see each other to have miso dish together and chat. I promised them to bring my miso from「Tachibana Hompo」which a Japanese miso company in Nigata prefecture to the event. The event ended up really fun and I would like to share with you a bit of it.

What we made

1. Bitter gourd marinaded in miso
2. Miso soup of paneer (Indian Cheese), okra, tomato, and sauteed egg plants
3. Miso soup of muttun, carots, radish, and taro
4. Shio-koji saute of cabbage and onions (The homemade shio-koji is what Mai and Aska’s mother made)
5. Soy sauce saute of cabbage and paneer
6. Brown rice

The ingredients are very interesting becuase they are not exactly what we use back in Japan. Now we are in India that we thought we should eat Indian fresh vegetables. That is the idea of the event.

Shopping at a local store

How I and lots of other people imagine of a vegetable shop in India would be either a stole or a wheelbarrow.
This is a place I actually purchased bitter gourds near my hotel in New Delhi. I needed them early to give it enough time to be marinated.
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I followed this recipe. It is always fun to look at other people’s recipes.

Grocery shopping at a supermarket

We went to a supermarket near Mai and Aska’s house. The experience at the supermarket was quite shocking. This area is rapidly developing and lots of buildings have been constructed since a decade ago. Mai explained me that there are wealthy Indians and lots of Japanese and Korean people live in this area. I never expected a supermarket like this in India today.

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I found everything that I saw on the previous day at local vegetable shops here in the supermarket too.
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They are chilled. It’s like an ordinary supermarket in Japan.
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It has got lots of kinds of grains and spices.
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As we have traveled in India, I never seen chicken that are sold in a package like this. We always had to point at an alive chicken to kill it for us at a butcher.
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Fish is chilled too…
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Oh yes, these are paneers. I am going to put it in miso soup.
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Let’s make it

We brought back all the ingredients home and started cooking. I don’t know why it was so fun, but making dishes with these two girls was a quite fun.
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Miso soup of mutton with carrots, radish and taro

Firstly, stir the veges with a little oil,
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at the same time, dump the meat into boiling water for 20 seconds then throw away the water to clean the meat.
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Add the meat into the pot of veges, and continue stir frying them.
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Add water to boil it, then add half the miso. Wait for sometime to be cooked, and add other half the miso just before putting out the fire.
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Miso soup of paneer, tomato, okra, and stir fired eggplants

This is paneer. I will keep the half of them for later to make it stir fried with soy sauce.
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We stir fried eggplants with sesame oil before boiling them with other vegetables. This way, you can enjoy your rice more with this soup because the eggplants and oil are a good match, and gives it more flavour.
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Mai and Aska made two other dishes.

Stir fried paneer and onion with soy sauce

I wish to make Indian people try this. So tasty.
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Stir fired cabbage and onion with Shio-koji

Shio-koji is geneas. It turns everything tasty and healthy! Mai and Aska’s mother made the shio-koji in Japan for them to eat in India. That is so sweet of her. I loved it too.
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Fermented food is so convinient. It adds so much flavour to dishes and makes them healthy to eat.
Now the dishes of miso, soy sauce, shio-koji, and brown rice are ready to eat. wow.
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Marinated bitter gourd with miso Letting it sleep for another day in the fridge might have been better, but it was still good.
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Miso soup of mutton Mutton tastes good with roots like carots, radish and taro. Sadly I forgot to add the leaves of the radish. 😦 It turned out well that I put ginger as well. Mai seemed to love this dish! haha.
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Miso soup of paneer, tomato, okra, and stir fried eggplants Wow this was our almost first time to eat tomato in miso soup. Yup, they tasted perfect together!
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We visited a Indian family who lives upstairs of the house to make them taste a bit of it. The guy in the photo said “it’s good! I like how Japanese food is tasty.”
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The other woman seemed to be having hard time eating it. She made all of us laugh when she said “very good” as she licked little soup on a tiny spoon. Well, it is ok and understandable that sometimes we don’t want to eat what we have no idea about!
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Desserts The tastiest mango ever. Aska cut them for us.
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It was a fun day!
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I got an idea that it will be challenging but make your life so much more comfortable if you try to learn about Indian fresh vegetables or any other ingredients and try sometime to cook them in your way. “Your way” might be Japanese cooking if you are a Japanese person, but could be arranged in any way.

Mai and Aska told me that they are interested in selling the miso if they can make good miso in the future. That is going to be very exciting.

Thanks!

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