Miso. Oh, miso. Where have you been all my life? Alright, I do know the answer. You’re not some hot new trendy little thang; you’ve been around forever in supermarket and recipes galore. You’ve just never made your way into my lil’ kitchen.
You (reader, not miso) probably already cook with this ingredient. Because usually I’m like, the last person to catch on to anything. So for you I have another ingredient that will have you wondering just how you went so long without it.
See that? That, friends, is wasabi goat cheese that just happens to be made locally. It’s made by a creamery called Westfield Farm, which I first learned about a few years ago at the Boston Wine Festival. They were sampling one of their many flavors of goat cheese (I won’t tell you which one yet, as it will be featured in an upcoming post), and I fell in love at first taste. Maybe you can guess which one it was?
I was thrilled when I figured out that the farm is about 25 minutes from my house. (Attention Bostonians: see, there are cool things west of 495!) So I gave them a call to find out their hours – it turns out, this is goat cheese on demand, people. The hours are pretty much whenever you want them to be, as the store consists of a refrigerator full of cheese and a spot to leave your money. The honor system at its best!
On a recent trip I picked up a few flavors, including their wasabi goat cheese. I had an inkling that it would go really well with salmon, and I kept this idea filed away until I could get my hands on some really good salmon. Trust me on this one, you want to splurge on the wild Alaskan sockeye – the sweet, fresh flavor and natural bright color will make you glad you did. In the meantime, I added some of the wasabi goat cheese to some pureed cauliflower served with ginger-marinated steak tips. But, I made sure to save plenty for the salmon.
When I finally had the wasabi goat cheese AND the wild Alaskan salmon, I picked up some miso as well. Because I needed to know what I’d been missing. Most of the miso-marinated-salmon recipes I browsed called for mirin, a sweet rice wine, and unseasoned rice vinegar – two ingredients I didn’t have. A little more research told me that I could substitute white wine with a pinch of sugar for the mirin. And looking at ingredient labels in the supermarket taught me that mirin IS essentially rice wine with sugar and that seasoned rice vinegar (which I did have) also has sugar. So why not just use the seasoned vinegar? I couldn’t think of any good reason not to!
So I went ahead and mixed my marinade with miso, vermouth (which I always use rather than opening a bottle of white wine), seasoned rice vinegar, a bit of sesame oil, a touch of ginger and a pinch of stevia. Because I thought a little sweeter would be better! And the result? I was totally right. The wasabi goat cheese on its own is actually not as hot as one might expect, but when paired with the sweet salmon and miso marinade, the contrast is quite apparent – and delicious. We cooked it on the grill, though baking would be just fine too, and paired it with some grilled bok choy.
One more thing I can tell you about Westfield Farm is that it’s totally a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type place. So if you live anywhere nearby and are considering taking a drive out this way, give me a heads up first. I’ll be happy to tag along and make sure you don’t miss it. And of course, I can always find a reason – like this salmon recipe – to pick up more goat cheese!
Wasabi Goat Cheese Stuffed Salmon with Miso
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon vermouth or white wine
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 large scallion, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch of stevia (just a tiny pinch, don’t overdo it!) or sugar, to taste
2 teaspoons water
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 5oz salmon filets, preferably wild Alaskan sockeye
1 1/2 ounces Westfield Farms Wasabi Capri
Whisk together all ingredients except for the salmon and goat cheese. Place the salmon in a baking dish and pour the marinade over it, turning to coat. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F or turn grill on medium heat. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut a slit into each of piece of salmon, so that each one opens like a book. Crumble the cheese and divide evenly among the open salmon filets; then fold each one back over. Cook on the grill on top of a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray, or on a baking sheet in the oven, for about 15 minutes or until just opaque.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 19.3 g
Cholesterol: 97.3 mg
Sodium: 973.9 mg
Total Carbs: 6.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 34.2 g
I love the combination of real, wholesome ingredients used here, so I am sharing this dish for the Two for Tuesdays Blog Hop, hosted by A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.Be sure to visit for more wholesome bites and Mediterranean fare!