This is an easy tutorial, but if you are not familiar with miso paste, I thought this step by step tutorial would come in handy. Miso paste is made from fermented soy beans, is plant based food with a high protein count of 40% and full of good healthy bacteria beneficial for our digestion and gut. Miso plays an enormous role in the traditional Japanese diet and is one of the contribution factors to the Japanese peoples living long healthy lives. In this tutorial I have used a pestle & mortar for a smooth even mixed dressing, as an alternative use a small kitchen machine (or a bowl & whisk).
All ingredients are available in the well known supermarkets. But I do recommend a trip to your local Asian store for good value larger packs of miso paste which comes in 3 variations: white miso for sweets and desserts, dark miso mostly used for more robust cooking like winter vegetable stews and meat and then the most common miso the medium yellow coloured version used in soups, broths, marinates and dressings. The fermentation process is yeast based and either barley or wheat will have been used in this process, if you are intolerant to wheat do read the label carefully. If you are eating a diet just avoiding wheat the gluten left in the miso paste post fermentation is minimal and should not impact on your eating regime.
The miso last for at least a month open in the fridge. I do recommend making your own miso soup instead of the more commercial instant version to ensure you get the full nutritional and flavour profile out of your cuppa (recipe to follow shortly). In this recipe I have used local honey, but can be substituted with more commercial brands. We are all part of our own bio-diversity, so even as urbanites we benefits greatly from eating honey produced locally and at the same time support an essential network of bi-growers when this is an option.
This miso dressing is great on Japanese Bean Salad, as a dip for raw vegetable crudities, like the Almost Raw Vegetable or as dipping on edamame beans.
For the miso dressing you need the following:
1 large clove of garlic
1 pinch of sea salt
1 small banana shallot
75 gram yellow (medium) miso paste
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
25-30 ml. good quality olive oil
Pestle & Mortar
Pestle & Mortar, chopped banana shallot, local honey, good quality olive oil, lemon, red wine vinegar, wholegrain mustard and miso paste.
First add the garlic and sea salt to the mortar, crush with the pestle until a smooth paste. Squeeze the lemon, mix in and then add the wholegrain mustard and work it with the pestle until all incorporated.
Add the chopped onion, give it a good bash with the pestle to ensure its dissolved into the dressing. Now add the honey and red wine vinegar, again work with the pestle until a smooth paste, then add the miso paste and repeat process.
The msio dressing is almost ready, taste if the dressing if it need a little extra honey and vinegar for sweetness or tartness before adding the oil.
Mix in the olive oil, mix well and the miso dressing is ready.