This ginger, mustard and miso dressing, combined with hemp hearts is a flavourful Asian-inspired combination. Ginger-mustard-miso Brussels sprouts is a healthy side for any lunch or dinner. Ready in 15 mins. Easily adaptable for gluten-free and vegan.
The first time I had Brussels sprouts dressed in miso and mustard was at a Christmas party more than 10 years ago. Although my memory of its taste faded after a while, the dish itself left me a great impression. I never got a hold of the actual recipe. But I re-created my version of it over the years, based on the memorable Brussels sprouts I ate that Christmas. I had fun putting in my own twists, with the flavours and ingredients I love. Retested and revised a few more times, the dish ended up as Brussels sprouts with hemp hearts in a ginger-mustard-miso dressing.
What is Miso?
The main ingredient of the dressing, miso, is a fermented soybean paste. Miso is not only rich in umami (aka. the fifth taste), but also full of goodness. Fermented soy foods are more nutritious than unfermented ones. The fermentation process enhances the bio-availability and digestibility of proteins, vitamins and minerals in soybeans, reduces anti-nutrients such as phytates and lectins. Fermented soy foods are a great source of vitamin K, which most people don’t eat enough. Miso is a superfood that many Japanese people believe to be the reason of their nation’s longevity. I had spent quite some time in Japan, and grown to really love and appreciate miso.
Sometimes miso contains other grains in addition to soybeans. If gluten allergy is a concern for you, then check the ingredients to make sure the grains used are gluten-free. Dashi is another ingredient sometimes being added to miso for more flavour. Dashi contains sea kelp and fish, so it’s not vegetarian or vegan. Because I do eat fish and meat, having dashi in the miso isn’t a problem for me. Miso containing dashi actually has a better flavour, but harder to find. The brand I use is made from salt, soybean and rice. I didn’t set out to make a vegan or vegetarian recipe, but as a result it is.
As a probiotic food, miso is best not to be cooked under high heat, in order not to destroy its probiotic properties. Therefore, using miso in a dressing is a wonderful way to consume this traditional and natural food.
More superfood salads you will love:
- Sprouted Salad + Tahini Lime Dressing
- Smoked Salmon Potato Salad with Pickle Juice Dressing (a Probiotic Twist)
- Spicy Szechuan Tripe Salad
- Cucumber Wakame (Seaweed) Salad
I try to keep this recipe super healthy and tasty at the same time. I am a firm believer of using the highest quality ingredients and optimizing each element of a recipe to maximize flavours and health benefits. I choose to quickly steam the Brussels sprouts to achieve the best nutritional values and tenderness. At the same time the avocado oil is added into the dressing with no heating involved, therefore retains all of the health benefits. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. It also has a creamy and rich taste that I thought best complements Brussels sprouts in comparison to alternatives such as olive oil or sesame oil.
I also use fresh ginger, old style and raw whole grain Dijon mustard, unpasteurized honey and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to balance the saltiness of the miso. All of them are beneficial for our immune system, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. So be sure to buy in their most natural forms (ie. organic and raw) to maximize their medicinal properties. To make this dish vegan, replace the honey with a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup. I don’t personally like Agava syrup, since it’s too high in fructose.
To finish off, a sprinkle of raw hemp hearts – a wonderfully nutritious and tasty shelled seeds of the hemp plant – adds richness and extra protein, healthy fat and minerals to the dish. You may think I am making a medicinal concoction of some sort, but the flavours really do work very well together!
Ginger-Mustard-Miso Brussels Sprouts /w Hemp Hearts
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp miso paste, unpasteurized (see recipe note below)
- 1 tbsp honey, unpasteurized (replace with maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard, old style whole grain and raw
- 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
- 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp raw hemp hearts
- Trim ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut each in half.
- Steam the Brussels sprouts for 8-10 minutes, and then immediately rinse in cold water to retain their green colour.
- Mix all of the miso paste, honey (or maple syrup), Dijon mustard, grated ginger, apple cider vinegar and avocado oil together to make a dressing.
- Pour the dressing over steamed Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with hemp hearts. Toss to coat the Brussels sprouts evenly.
- Not all miso are vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free, although the majority on the market are. See "what is miso?" section for more details on the ingredients to look out for, if you need to choose the vegan and gluten-free version.
Made this recipe? I would love to hear how it turned out for you in the comment below!