We've been curious about Hozon, a miso-esque paste developed by Kaizen Trading Company (an offshoot of David Chang's Momofuku Culinary Lab), since its marquee appearance in Noodle Bar's chickpea Hozon ramen in July. The paste, a barrel-aged, stone-ground combination of fermented rice and legumes, nuts or seeds, packs a serious umami punch, and we wanted in.
But unfortunately, Kaizen products aren't readily available to non-chef customers, and our hunt for a stray jar proved fruitless.
That changes this week (and only this week!) thanks to Quinciple, one of our favorite subscription grocery options in New York, known for its carefully curated mix of Greenmarket gems, upmarket pantry staples and more. The company is teaming up with Kaizen for a limited time to offer subscribers who place an order in the next three days a jar of sunflower seed Hozon, which will go out to customers early next week. If you're not already Quincipled, you have until midnight on this Friday, September 19, to sign up and get your hands on that Hozon (along with all the other gorgeous goods that normally arrive in each box).
We did manage to finagle a jar of sunflower Hozon ahead of time and can confirm that it is, indeed, deeply flavored and deeply delicious; perhaps that's why restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Estela and Del Posto have been using it for months. It's dark amber in color, and pleasantly funky-smelling, with a salty taste that's assertive but less overwhelming than straight miso.
"We've been putting it into quick breads, ice cream, salad dressings, marinades and more," says Jeffrey de Picciotto of Kaizen. He stops short of recommending it as a toast spread ("That might be a bit much") but suggests dozens of other applications, from dips and spreads to soups and broth— even for curing fish and meat.
And if for some reason you don't barrel through the six-ounce jar right quick, it lasts virtually forever in the refrigerator, so you can experiment with Kaizen-Quinciple mashups for months to come.
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