Thursday, December 17, 2015

Miso Master

You're going to see a lot of reviews on the blog between now and New Year's Day. I've got a number of reviews in my cue, and they all need to wrap up before I start my annual January cleanse. But tonight's review is for something totally cleanse-friendly.

Miso Master sent me a few of their organic miso pastes to sample and review. I'd tried Miso Master before, and I can say that it's definitely my favorite miso paste. Some other brands, which shall remain nameless, tend to be a little chunky. But Miso Master makes some damn smooth miso. And they make all kinds! And it's certified gluten-free, which doesn't matter all that much to me, but it's crucial for some folks. They sent me Mellow White Miso, Traditional Red Miso, and Chickpea Miso.

Miso Master is made with handcrafted koji spores and well water from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is one of my favorite Southern cities. It's so vegan-friendly!

I sampled each miso and came up with simple recipes using each. I was most intrigued by the Chickpea Miso, which is totally soy-free. Since miso is traditionally soy paste, making a soy-free miso sounds impossible. But Miso Master has done it (and done it well!). This light miso tastes so much like soy miso that I wouldn't know the difference if the package wasn't a giveaway. It's got a rich fermented flavor, and it's incredibly mellow.

I thought it'd be fun to use this in one of my favorite breakfasts — miso soup! I used to have miso for breakfast all the time, but it's been awhile. So I used this to whip up my Almond-Miso Soup, which combines salty miso with creamy almond butter, tofu, carrots, onions, and spinach. Breakfast of champions. You can find my recipe here on the VegNews website, where I first had it published in 2012.

Next up, I tried the Traditional Red Miso. I'm more accustomed to red miso because that's what I typically buy. Red miso has a much more pungent taste. It's like super-concentrated miso! I love things that are full of flavor, and this red miso didn't disappoint. It's softer in texture than the chickpea miso, but it packs a serious punch. 

I used this to make some Red Miso Butter. It's my own take on a recipe by Bryant Terry that I've long been obsessed with. Miso butter is great on toast, steamed veggies, and best of all, corn on the cob. Check out my uni-corn holder! Get it? Uni-CORN?

Red Miso Butter
1/4 cup red miso
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. tahini

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Last but not least is the Mellow White Miso, which turned out to be my fave of the bunch. It's very similar in color, taste, and texture to the Chickpea Miso. But it has that special soy miso twang. 

It's light flavor made it perfect for a creamy salad dressing. I whipped up this simple Miso Sesame Dressing in minutes.

Miso Sesame Dressing
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. mellow white miso
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


EC said...

I love miso! I haven't seen it around these parts for a reasonable price though.

Susan said...

Miso is amazing. I went to a miso workshop once and it was awesome.
I mostly buy red or white miso from one of the twenty local Asian grocery stores I have around my area, but they don't have chickpea miso. I think I might have seen it at the health food shop near work. Will have to buy some to try on their next discount day.