Miso is usually sold in large containers in Japan (it is with rice one of the rare ingredients that comes in large packaging compared to Western countries). It is a real pity because I love different types of miso depending on what I am cooking and I usually don't keep several sorts because I don't use it every day. In summer I like red miso, in winter white miso, but I also love miso with grains inside, and miso made of barley or of soy beans... So you can imagine how much happy I was when last night with D. we found a little place in Kichijoji that is both a restaurant and a miso shop where you can by miso by 100g units. Let's first talk about miso, then about the restaurant.
The shop is ran by a single person (土平哲生さん), the elder son and 4th generation of miso makers, that does everything. His shop has a collection of miso coming from different places in Japan and made of the different ingredients, is has also some spicy miso and other fancy ones. It covers all the possible different tastes: very salty to very sweet, creamy to crumbly. And of course you can try all of them before deciding which ones you want to buy. I decided to go with miso made of 100% barley with a crumbly texture, and for a creamy but not too sweet white miso. I am now looking forward to cooking with these new miso.
The restaurant is a bare 10 seats place, with a little kitchen. Since D. is alergic to dairies and doesn't eat meat at all we asked him if he could prepare something for us that would accommodate us, and he just prepared on the spot some dishes for us. I really like the idea that he could basically cook whatever we wanted with the ingredients he had, it reminded me of "深夜食堂", a Japanese TV drama where "master" cooks whatever people want in is tiny restaurant. So we first asked for raw cabbage with different types of miso to try some of the different options, then he prepared for us some simmered eggplant with white miso, onigiri with vegetables pickled in miso (I found that not only his miso is delicious, his rice was also amazing!), and we finished with a salad of tofu, fried eggplant, tomato, green beans, with a miso dressing of course! Everything was simple and delicious and so simply prepared that it tasted like home!
Soy Bean Fram - ソイビーンファーム
Open everyday from 11:30 to 22:00
5min walk from Kichijoji JR station, north exit
Tokyo Musashino-shi Kichijoji Honmachi 2-15-2