Damnit!! I need a new computer. Something fierce. Just sitting here typing away about miso and *shooof. <—- That’s my sound for a computer killing itself. And by killing itself, I mean it completely shuts itself off and you lose everything you have been doing. Yes, I am a saver, but when writing I try to just write/type and save at points where my brain moves to the next topic. That way I can just keep the flow going. But of course, in this case my brain had yet to move to the next topic and I lost my entire post. All I wanted to do was tell you about miso.
The funny thing when you lose your work, is no matter how fantastic or utterly crappy it was, it was the greatest thing you’ve ever done. And the world just crapped on your life and your amazing piece of work. In reality, it wasn’t that fantastic… probably… hopefully…
I did text Logan to let him know of my computers favorite new thing to do, as I do every time my computer kills itself. As if him knowing what a piece of crud it is will make any difference. And yes, the text also included the flaming red faced emoji. Although I don’t feel that emoji even does my red face justice.
And on that note, I am going to go and hit save…
Okay. Saved (for now).
Well, as I said, what I really wanted to tell you about was miso. And that I can’t remember exactly what the first meal I made was that required it, but I think it was a soup. And it actually required awase miso. Awase is a mixed miso, and is made up of white (shiro) and red (aka) misos. And in case you are going “tell me what the heck miso is already…” miso is a paste, fermented soybean paste to be precise. I’ll give you some more deets in just a minute. But I’m gonna finish my story…
Now as the store didn’t have awase miso, we of course ended up with two tubs of miso (white and red) to sort of make our own. Yep, TWO TUBS of a substance I had never had and in turn may not even like. But when I want something, I become slightly crazy and am all in. So two tubs later…
See it was a quick story.
Finally in life I had my first go with miso and found out what all the hype was about… it’s salty and FULL of umami. “Okay, so what the heck is umami now??” Well, it’s Japanese and while we don’t actually have a translation for it in English, it’s described as being “savory” or even “meaty.” It’s considered to be the fifth taste/flavor (you know like, sweet, salty, sour and bitter… well, now there’s umami). If you’ve had something full of umami flavor, you’ve probably found it slightly tricky to describe to someone. For example fish sauce or soy sauce, sure they are salty but how else could you describe their flavor? Yep, they are packed with umami! See you didn’t even know you had been enjoying umami all along.
Alright those deets (aka details)…
Miso is made by fermenting soybeans along with a few other ingredients. Those other ingredients used when fermenting, such as rice or other grains, will depend on the exact flavor of the miso – go figure. This is why there are multiple kinds of miso you can use and buy. So, white (shiro) is a sweeter miso as it’s made with rice. Whereas red (aka), is often mixed with barley or a similar grain AND a higher level of soybeans. In turn, red (aka) miso is a lot more robust and has a deeper umami flavor. It’s best for heartier dishes and in braises or marinades. While white (shiro) is ideal of sauces or dressings, and is most commonly used in my kitchen.
Okay, seriously… that was a ton of information… and I could go on and on about how fantastic miso is for you due to fermentation. It’s a tummy pleaser, how about that. Just stay away from the added junk like MSG and GMO’s, bleh. Not tummy pleasers.
Well, since that first miso experience I have become obsessed with it! I’ve used it with veggies, soups, Asian dishes and now dressing!
This dressing is legitimate legal crack. I can’t even.
It’s pretty much the new ranch dressing in our lives. We dip veg into it, use it as a salad dressing, I put it on avocado toasts, Logan this morning apparently put it on his eggs and said it was the best thing ever! It’s so universal, and it’s extremely addicting. So much so, that you will most likely be found licking the bowl or plate when you are done. Just a heads up. It’s cool, this is a non-judging zone.
My other favorite thing about this dressing beyond it’s versatility is that it’s one strong creamy liquid. A little goes a long way, which helps it last longer than 24 hours in this house. I love the flavor punch it hits you with each and every time. And it’s insanely creamy, which you would not think could happen with just the few ingredients it has. But it’s lusciously creamy and thick too.
Also, it has a small note of lemon if you use all four tablespoons, which is the way Logan likes it. I prefer mine without the hint of lemon, and in turn opt for 3 tablespoons. In its place, I just add an extra tablespoon of water to even out the liquid quantities. Easy peasy.
Alright, well I’m off to go make something I can use more of this liquid crack with. Peace, love and miso.
**Note on gluten… white (shiro) miso should be gluten free, but as always if concerned double check the label to make sure.
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
- 3-4 tablespoons white (shiro) miso*
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice**
- fresh cracked pepper
- Place all ingredients in a blender, or use an immersion blender (as I did) and blend until creamy smooth. If you prefer a thinner dressing add one tablespoon of water at a time, and blend again. Repeat until desired consistency has been reached. Serve immediately and/or store in an air tight jar in the refrigerator.
*The miso is a bit strong, so if you are nervous at all start with three tablespoons and taste, adding more as you like. We prefer it strong and always use four.
**If using three tablespoons of lemon juice, add an additional tablespoon of water. If you prefer a slight lemon flavor use all four tablespoons.