This is a bit like preaching to the converted with all you fellow gut enthusiasts reading out there but with the launch of my first book BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT I wanted to share one of my favourite recipes with you ahead of the official publication on 7th September. Obviously it goes without saying that ALL of the recipes in the book are aimed at supporting our gut and microbiome but this one is a particular favourite of mine – Miso cod with wasabi broccoli. That’s because not only does this dish give our microbiome a proper feasting but it also tastes amazing AND is so simple to make. Don’t be put off by some of the more unfamiliar sounding ingredients, they are really easy to find.
Back to the recipe in hand though, the reason why this is such a hero when it comes to the gut is that it includes some key foods that help to bolster our beneficial bacteria and we know that equals a healthier and happier gut. Firstly, this comes from miso paste, which is made from fermented soy beans and provides a natural source of beneficial bacteria. The miso is heated in this recipe so unfortunately those beneficial guys will take a bit of a hit but you can still reap the other nutritional benefits of miso that includes amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin K and zinc that all support functioning of the gut. In this marinade miso works particularly well with coconut aminos that is a sweeter type of soy sauce and with a dash of traditional Japanese sake, fermented rice wine, I think it takes the umami flavour to another level. Plus sake is another fermented food/drink so TECHNICALLY it’s also another gut friendly food (ahem?!). This marinade also transforms what could be seen as just an average and frankly rather bland fillet of cod into something a lot tastier. Standing proudly alongside this is green machine veg broccoli, that some might see as the pin up for healthy eating. Not to down play other veg but broccoli is somewhat superior in its nutritional profile in that it contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals as well as some pretty impressive antioxidants that help to protect against cellular damage and have an important role in the gut too. There is nothing better than pan frying broccoli in good old fashioned butter. Not only does this taste the bomb but it also helps us to absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A that is also important for the gut and with a bit of garlic that is an excellent prebiotic source your microbiome are gonna love this too. I add a touch of wasabi, which in case you are not familiar is really a bit like horseradish. Great for giving a fiery bite to round off an altogether gut boosting and taste bud tingling dish. Give it a whirl and tag us in so we can see your marvellous creations! @evekalinik @symproveyourlife @symprove
MISO COD WITH WASABI BROCCOLI
Miso has been a traditional part of Japanese cuisine for over a thousand years; it is made from fermented soya beans. Like all fermented foods it is an excellent source of beneficial bacteria for the gut. The sweet white version is made with fermented rice as well as soya beans and works particularly well with white fish. Look for Atlantic cod with the MSC logo, which means it is sourced sustainably. Coconut aminos is an excellent alternative to soy sauce and is naturally sweet and gluten free, so it’s an ideal replacement if you have an allergy to soya. If you want to make this a heartier meal, serve it with some soba (buckwheat) noodles.
1 medium head broccoli
2 tablespoons unpasturised sweet white miso paste
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
2 Atlantic cod fillets, approx. 150–200g each
1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter or ghee
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut into fine slices
¼ teaspoon wasabi powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets and place on the lined tray.
Mix the miso paste, sake and coconut aminos together in a small bowl. Place each cod fillet on a piece of baking parchment and spread the miso mixture evenly over the fish. Carefully wrap the paper around the fish to make a parcel and seal by folding over the ends so the miso mix doesn’t run out the sides. Place the fish parcels on another baking tray and place both trays in the oven for 18 minutes.
Leave the cod to rest for a few minutes while you finish the broccoli.
In a shallow pan, heat the butter or ghee, add the garlic, broccoli and wasabi and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Divide the broccoli between two plates and place the cod alongside. Garnish with the sesame seeds and pour over the juices from the cod parcels. Best enjoyed with chopsticks and a glass of sake on the side.