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Umami-laden sesame & spring onion muffins

June 23, 2012

These are possibly the most deceptive savoury muffins ever.

First, they look pretty hideous, which really betrays how delicious they are (although this could also come in handy). Second, they are beautifully golden, soft and moist, and taste like they were made with more butter than one would like to admit, yet they are quietly vegan. Third, they are super-packed with greens – about 100g for a recipe using only a cup of flour.

The semi-secret ingredients are miso and if possible, a touch of honey (they’re good with sugar too though). There’s also a lot of crazy flavour going on with celery greens, whose bitterness is tempered by a hefty dose of vinegar, but these aren’t detectably sour. In fact, they remind me of those dang delicious Asian spring onion sesame crackers, but even more umami-tastic with the hint of miso that means these need no cheese or bacon for deliciousness. I’m thinking of trying a little rye flour or wholemeal next time, although really these are already pretty healthy relatively speaking.

Fortuitously, the most time consuming part of this recipe is rinsing and chopping the greens. Then you make it all in one bowl. Glorious.

Sesame and spring onion muffins

makes 9 regular size flattish muffins

  • 60ml canola oil
  • 70g (just over 1/4 c) tahini
  • 10g (2 tsp) sesame oil
  • 3 T vinegar or lemon juice (I used apple cider vinegar, but white or rice vinegars would work lovely too)*
  • 140ml water
  • 40g miso paste (about 2 Tablespoons) – I used white, or “shiro” miso
  • about 1 1/2 tsp honey or 2 tsp sugar
  • 100g (about 2c) chopped celery leaves and spring onion/scallions/green onion/shallots**
  • 170g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

*The vinegar might not appeal to everyone – if you want more of a classic savoury muffin flavour, replace baking soda with 1 tsp baking powder and the vinegar with water.

** You can use another green in place of the celery leaves, but they are really magical here. You could also try other members of the onion family in place of spring onion – garlic greens or chives would work, although I personally think spring onions are most magical for this.

Preheat oven to 190C (375F), with a rack centred and muffin tins lined or heavily greased (with margarine or butter).

Mix first seven ingredients with a fork until incorporated. It might look a little curdled – totally fine. Mix in greens. Sift over flour and baking soda, and stir through until no floury bits are visible.

Fill muffin cups just below full, as these don’t rise heaps (and as you can see from the photo, they are more flat-topped. But still soft and fluffy, yet moist. I don’t quite know how, but it all works out splendiferously in the end!

Bake until golden all over the top (I don’t ever bother to keep a timer). They’ll give off lots of vinegar smell whilst baking but then don’t actually taste vinegary really. Cool in the tins and serve. A little butter on a split one would be gorgeous, but these really don’t need it either. Enjoy!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2012 1:05 am

    Man they sound awesome, and so unlike anything I’ve had. How does miso come? I mean – is it a paste or a powder? I imagine its easy enough to buy – just something I’ve never worked with before!

  2. June 23, 2012 1:22 am

    I love the sound of these muffins! Mmmmmm vegie-laden umami goodness.

  3. June 23, 2012 2:28 am

    Veggie-muffins!? It seems to good to be true. I am for sure stealing this recipe for breakfast sometime soon! Thanks for sharing!

  4. June 23, 2012 11:36 am

    C: Miso usually comes in a paste (at least I’ve never seen it in powder form). It seems quite pricey but then I rarely use more than 2 Tbs at any one time! It packs a real punch. Have elaborated in the recipe a bit, thanks for pointing out.

    L & L: I was really surprised upon trying these. They kind of remind me of those veggie crackers (not sure if they’re still sold), which were my compromise treat when I was a kid dragging my Mum to the snack section of the supermarket :P I like to think these are much nicer though!

  5. June 24, 2012 9:59 pm

    Hey, just wanted to say what a beautiful blog you have! These muffins look really delicious! :)

  6. June 25, 2012 5:08 am

    I adore a savory muffin and these look absolutely delicious!

  7. June 25, 2012 9:02 pm

    This looks amazing! I am trying it for sure!

  8. June 26, 2012 4:07 pm

    Yum – I love a savory muffin!
    Thanks for the shout out too :)

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