Only 30 Minutes To Umami With These Miso-Glazed Mushroom Kebabs
Mushrooms are the perfect starting point for a truly flavorful plant-based main dish. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and flavored with just about anything—but they shine in simplicity, which is exactly how they star in this dish.
"A simple glaze made from miso paste, soy sauce, and maple syrup makes these roasted portobello mushrooms the star of any dinner table," write Maja and Jernej Zver in Epic 30-Minute Roasts. "The mushrooms are incredibly rich in flavor, aromatic, and have an umami aftertaste."
Umami is one of the five basic tastes, the others being sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness, and it speaks to that depth of flavor that most often is achieved through slow cooking of meats or in broths. Here, umami is achieved in a mere half-hour thanks to the simple, but carefully balanced, glaze used on the mushrooms—which also carries notes of the other four basic tastes, too.
Miso has a history stretching back through thousands of years in Japanese cuisine, and now more modern studies are confirming its reputed health benefits. Made from fermented soybeans, it has a high density of vitamins and minerals and packs the power of fermented foods. Paired with garlic and other forceful flavors, the miso provides a depth of flavor that allows these quick-cooked mushrooms to echo the profile of a slow-roasted dish—in less than half the time.
Mushroom Kebabs With Miso Glaze
- 1 lb. portobello mushrooms, or any large mushrooms, cut in half
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1 tbsp. miso paste
- 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
- Sesame seeds, optional
- Chopped fresh parsley, optional
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, then preheat it to 410°F. If you are using wooden skewers, cover them with water in a shallow pan to soak them for 10 minutes.
- Thread the mushrooms onto four metal or wooden skewers. Place the skewers on a baking sheet, and roast them on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are roasting, prepare the glaze. Place a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the oil, garlic, and miso paste. Stir, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce and maple syrup. Remove the pan from the heat, and set it aside.
- Remove the roasted mushrooms from the oven. Pour the roasting juices into the saucepan with the glaze, stir to combine, and brush half of the glaze over the mushroom kebabs. Roast the mushrooms for 10 minutes, or until they are nicely glazed and tender.
- Brush the mushrooms with the remaining glaze, and spoon the roasting juices over them. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the sesame seeds and parsley, if using. Serve immediately.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.