My boyfriend Junior was making sushi the other night at home and we needed something other than raw fish and rice to eat with the meal. I’ve been wanting to cook with miso more since it really adds that umami richness and something I don’t have as much experience using in cooking. This is a great recipe for someone who is not as familiar with miso since it is fairly foolproof (just add all ingredients to the food processor). I added the dressing to some chopped romaine since it’s substantial enough to hold up to a fairly chunky dressing. I also added some scallions and chopped cashews for a nice contrasting texture and bite.
Confession: There’s definitely an addicting quality to this dressing as I’ve been spreading it on toast, crackers, chips, etc. whenever I get the chance. It’s a perfect cross between sweet/savory/umami sensations that most of us can’t get enough of.
Umami: We’re said to have 5 different taste sensations. Sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. They’re all pretty easy to identify except for umami. There are a bunch of scientific explanations of what umami means which you can find on Wikipedia but I basically describe it as satisfying. For example; anchovies, parmigiano reggiano, seaweed, and soy sauce. Most people don’t eat these foods on their own but they add that final balance to a finished dish.
Mark Bittman has a great article about miso, especially if you’re buying it for the first time.
1/4 C. Canola Oil
1/4 C. Rice Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Miso, mild or sweet (ie, yellow or white)
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
2 Carrots, chopped
1 small piece ginger, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until mixture is smooth.
Adapted from Mark Bittmans “How to Cook Everything”