I saw this recipe at the theanoholic! blog and decided to give it a try.
It contains spent sencha leaves, miso and mirin.
Both miso and mirin are basic ingredients in Japanese cuisine. I’ll quickly explain each one in case that you are unfamiliar with them.
Miso is a paste made from fermented soy beans and rice. You’ve probably heard of miso soup, it’s very common in Japan.
An important thing about miso, in my opinion, is that it gives food a rich umami taste.
Mirin is also a fermented product. It’s a sweet liquid that contains alcohol.
As you can imagine, mirin adds sweetness to Japanese dishes.
But it’s not just about the sweet taste. Mirin has a characteristic aroma that can mask the fishy smell of seafood. It also gives luster and body, for example it is an ingredient in the authentic teriyaki sauce.
The recipe is very simple: equal parts of spent tea leaves and miso, add a little bit of mirin and then mix the ingredients.
It’s meant to be used with fish. The vegetal and marine notes of the tea leaves makes a good pairing with the umami flavor of the miso paste and the pleasant aroma of mirin.
I enjoyed it with salmon.
Since I still had some left, I used it in a miso soup and it also produced a good result.
You can include other ingredients in this recipe, but I prefer to keep things simple.