‘Nanban Miso’ is a condiment made from an assortment of cut-up vegetables that have been pickled in a mash made from miso and seasoned with hot pepper. It was originally prepared as a way to preserve vegetables so that they would last through the harsh winters of southern Aomori.
The condiment is no longer prepared out of necessity but is instead made for its wonderfully addictive flavor. A satisfying crunch from the finely diced vegetables and a slight spiciness from the hot peppers combine in the condiment with the rich, salty, and complex flavor of the miso pickling mash. Shiso (a Japanese herb) is commonly added to the mixture and its fragrance stimulates the appetite making mouths water as soon as the packaging is opened. Nanban miso is the perfect companion to rice, but being quite versatile, it is also great in stir-fries, as a dressing for tofu or cucumbers, to marinate meat, and more!