There are no flavours more surprisingly delicious that the umami of Japanese food. The sauces and condiments a perfect mix of delicate salty and sweet and pungent.
A lot of the food I grew up with is Japanese, as that’s where the Macrobiotic philosophy originates. But it’s a mistake to think that you need access to specialty Japanese ingredients to live or cook in this way. Quality, whole and real food are the most important while local and season are key as well. So you can pretty much find and follow those guidelines in all cultures and nations.
We have access to so much asian cuisine in stores and restaurants these days. But I always warn people to read labels. So much of it is filled with sugar, corn syrup, preservatives and other additives. Better yet, learn to make your favourite things yourself.
This is one of my favourite dressings. It’s like that Wafu Japanese dressing but with way better ingredients and no white sugar. Plus it has miso in it (yay, fermented food!) which is great for digestion and intestinal flora. It is fabulous on vegetables or impressive in a big quinoa, rice or millet salad to bring to a potluck party.
1/2 c brown rice vinegar
1/4 c grape seed oil
2 T sesame oil
1 T tamari
2 T miso (make sure to use an authentic fermented miso. Many of the grocery store brands are just salty-soybean-paste and not actually fermented.)
3 T maple syrup (more if you like a sweeter dressing)
2 T tahini
1 tsp umeboshi vinegar
2 T water
2-3 T hemp hearts (optional if you want a thicker dressing with added omegas! If so you must use a blender to make sure the hemp hearts break down and become smooth in the dressing)
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for the smoothest-creamiest dressing. Or if you’re not using hemp you can shake in a jar in a pinch.
Refrigerate for up to two weeks.