Japanese-inspired spaghetti.

Miso spaghetti with Swiss chard and tofuIt was just a few months ago that I visited Spaghetei on Robson. Spaghetei is a Japanese spaghetti bar specializing in none other than Japanese spaghetti. I had walked right passed it with my boyfriend as we were planning to go to Motomachi Shokudo for some ramen but double-backed when I noticed it was their grand opening. They were offering 30% off and we decided to give it a go.

I had their Meat Miso & Salad and my boyfriend had the Neopolitan and let’s just say that mine was 10x better. And it was so good! The miso lent a definite umami kick to the meaty sauce and the cool cucumber and tomato gave it a nice touch. The sauce was killer and the idea of a miso sauce lingered in the back of my mind…and I decided to give it a go today!

I made a miso spaghetti with Swiss chard and tofu.

My boyfriend’s aunt gave us a huge bunch of her organic Swiss chard that she grew and with the tofu I bought on the weekend, I knew I was going to somehow put them together. I was thinking of making a soba and tossing it with the hemp pesto I also decided to try from the UNFI Saturday Market but knew I still had a bag of aka miso sitting in my fridge that I just wanted to use up.

There are a few different types of miso and if you’re going to be cooking with them in other dishes besides miso soup, it’s a good idea to know what the different types are and how they taste. Most popularly, there are two main types of miso: shiro and aka. Shiro is the white miso that is sometimes added with dashi or other flavourings. It is my personal favourite as it is not too strong and in your face, it is less salty. Aka miso, or red miso, possessses a much more dominant miso taste and is very salty. I would use this sparingly or in smaller amounts.

For this recipe, I used aka but I mostly use shiro miso in most cooking. Also, feel free to add more vegetables to this, nori for garnish, or add meat. It’s a lovely sauce that I can picture myself using on salads, meats and fish as well. Enjoy it!
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Miso spaghetti with Swiss chard and tofu (adapted from Daily Garnish)

What you’ll need:
Pasta
– 1lb whole wheat spaghetti
– 1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
– 1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves sliced
– 1 pkg (350g) firm tofu, cubed
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– Freshly ground pepper, to taste
– Togarashi spice (optional)
– Shredded nori (optional)
Sauce
– 1/2 cup aka miso
– 3 tbsp tahini
– 1 cup pasta water, more or less depending on preferred consistency

What you’ll need to do:
1. Cook your pasta according to packaged directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining and rinsing in cold water. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt your ghee over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or until it starts to brown.
3. Add your tofu and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the Swiss chard until it is wilted. Add ground pepper to taste.
5. In a small saucepan, heat your miso and tahini over low heat.
6. Slowly dribble in some pasta water and whisk to remove any clumps. Repeat until you get the consistency you would like. I used 1 cup of pasta water and it was slightly thickened.
7. Toss the pasta with the Swiss chard and tofu mixture and miso sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of togarashi and shredded nori. Makes 6-8 servings.

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