Miso is a magical ingredient. It is one of the beautiful items in the fermented food category that is so good for your intestinal and digestive health. Plus it adds that sought after and flawless umami flavour to a dish. I know many people want to include miso in their home recipes but I have also heard many people be intimidated by it, being unsure where to start or how to go about cooking with miso. If nothing else I plan to help create simple easy recipes and share some of the wisdom behind the fermented bean paste. Yum! Seriously.
This is a first in a series of miso-posts. Let’s call it, The Miso Project.
Today on the miso project, we have a very simple miso dressing. It can be used as a dip or dressing depending on how thick you make it and what you put in on. I would typically use it on rice, millet, noodles, vegetables, sea vegetables or salad (okay, I would use it on anything!). Here it’s shown with carrots because it can be a delicious dip too.
First thing about miso: make sure it’s actually miso. By that I mean, ensure you are buying a quality fermented miso. I know this sounds silly, but many of the things that are labeled as miso in conventional grocery stores or asian markets are not actually an authentic fermented food. They are often simply salted soy bean paste and are not actually fermented. For the true health benefits (and arguably superior quality and flavour) do seek out a real fermented miso. Health food stores and sections are usually good about carrying a quality product, especially with the recent dialogue and interest in intestinal flora and adding fermented foods to our diet.
I use a variety of types of miso (there are about 8 kinds in my fridge! Yes, there many types of miso.) from South River Miso. They make and ferment miso the traditional way and the quality is exceptional. They have a Canadian distributor to order from too. Like all that we make and eat, all I can say is chose a quality miso and make sure that it is actually fermented. You (and your digestive system!) will be thankful,
This dressing is light and yet rich, has no added oil using only the oils from raw seeds to make creamy and it a cinch to make. It’s salty and sour and sweet and has beautiful umami flavour. It’s great for the whole family, stores well in the fridge and can easily be modified depending on your family’s tastes. Hello fermented foods, we’re going to be great friends!
3/4 c water
1/4 c raw sunflower seeds (if you have time, soak them for an hour or more before)
2 T tahini
2 T hemp hearts
2 T miso
1 T rice syrup (or maple syrup)
1/4 c apple cider vinegar (or brown rice vinegar)
3-4 T umeboshi vinegar
2 tsp tamari
spices (if you want
lime if you want
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend well. Enjoy (or store in glass container in the fridge). And you may now get on with other fun things in your day, because it’s so simple you now have time to do that!)