While bell peppers are available year-round, this is the season when they’re most plentiful. Bell peppers, sometimes called sweet peppers, are certainly good for you, providing vitamins A and C, among other nutrients. But bell peppers usually don’t top people’s favorite vegetable list.
After sautéing, grilling and adding to crudité platters, you may be running out of ways to use them. Here’s an idea from my family.
My Uncle Harry in Kona grew bell peppers commercially and we were lucky to get a carton or two, fresh from the farm, when we’d visit. In addition to the usual things one does with bell peppers, such as making stuffed bell peppers (my favorite), my mom would cut them in wedges and stir-fry with miso. While I didn’t watch her make this dish, I do remember the flavor, so recently, when I had some red and yellow peppers, I decided to experiment.
The end result was popular with my family; maybe it will be with yours, too. These peppers are very flavorful and go best with an uncomplicated main dish seasoned simply, such as fried fish or roast chicken.
Stir-Fried Bell Peppers with Miso
2 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet cooking sake)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 large bell peppers (about 14 ounces total), cut vertically in ½-inch wedges
In a small bowl, combine miso, mirin and sugar; stir with a fork until miso dissolves. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger and stir for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add peppers and stir-fry until peppers just begin to blister, about 3 minutes.
Add miso mixture and continue to stir-fry, until most of the liquid evaporates and sauce coats the peppers, about 1 ½ minutes. Transfer to serving bowl, scraping up any thickened sauce.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.
- White miso and mirin can be found in Asian groceries or the international sections of some supermarkets.
- Refrigerate remaining miso after opening.
- You can use any color of bell peppers—orange, yellow and red are sweeter than green but all types would work for this recipe.
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