Miso And Garlic Are The Perfect Umami Combo For Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are well-loved for their simplicity and sense of infinite possibility. They are perfect when served with just a sprinkle of salt — in which case, they make a pleasantly mild companion to a more exciting main course — but they are also an ideal blank canvas for culinary creativity, capable of stealing the show by absorbing bold flavors. If you are looking for a savory side dish with a powerful presence, try adding miso and garlic to mashed potatoes.

In this way, miso acts like the salt and butter in a classic plate of mashed potatoes, adding a salty flavor and thick, creamy texture, but it is a vegan-friendly ingredient and adds a unique, umami taste. When paired with the slightly sweet, complex flavors of roasted garlic, it transforms good old mashed potatoes into an unforgettable dish that would be just as delicious for breakfast as it would be at dinnertime.

How to incorporate miso and garlic for better potatoes

If you can make the easiest mashed potatoes recipe, you can make them better with the addition of miso and garlic. The first thing to do is get your roasted garlic and miso paste ready. Combine the roasted garlic with some optional butter and a heaping spoonful of miso, making an intensely flavored compound butter that you will want to use on a whole lot more than just mashed potatoes. Mix this well, season with salt and pepper, then put it aside while you prepare the potatoes.

How you make your mashed potatoes depends on personal preference. Before boiling, you can opt to peel the skin, or leave it on for a little extra texture. After the potatoes are fully cooked, you can mash them with a fork or a pastry blender, or use a food processor to get them super smooth. Adding some milk or heavy cream will make the richest mashed potatoes, but these can be left out or substituted with dairy alternatives, like coconut milk. For the most flavor, add some of the miso garlic mix while mashing the potatoes and some just before serving.

Leveling up and serving up your mashed potatoes

The three main ingredients in this dish — potatoes, miso, and garlic — offer plenty of opportunities to experiment. You can try using different types of potatoes to explore the particular flavors, textures, and colors of each, and will find that some are better suited than others for mashing. There are also many kinds of miso, which vary in color from light to dark, with the flavors ranging from delicate to intense as the shade shifts from pale yellow to reddish brown. If you have access to a variety of miso options at your local market or online, you can try a few to see which you like best. For the garlic component, you can opt for black garlic for an even richer, more interesting umami flavor. Add some herbs like thyme or parsley for a little something fresh and bright.

Potatoes are an excellent side dish at any meal and can be easily adjusted to suit a range of dietary needs. Serve your miso garlic mashed potatoes with jammy soft-boiled eggs for a hearty start to the day. In the evening, they can hold their own alongside a serving of steak or add vibrancy to pan-seared tofu.