May 14, 2013

Nayo or mayo — Nasoya Nayonnaise review | chickpea salad, salsa dressing, bean burgers

When my oldest son was five or six, he came home from school one day giggling with glee. "You'll never believe this Mom," he laughed, "Raza thinks it's called mayonnaise, not Nayonaise. I tried to convince him but he wouldn't believe me. Isn't that funny?" Ah. Another unplanned moment in vegan parenting — it was pretty funny but not for the reason he thought. From the time they were small, I always made a point of talking to our kids about why we made certain food choices about what to eat or not eat. I wanted them to understand about animal kindness and about healthy eating, and to know that the hotdog they ate at a barbecue was not the same as the ones their friends were eating. At the same time, I didn't want them to be judgmental towards others. I'd say something like, "this is what our family believes, but not everyone agrees. Other people may decide to eat very different foods from what we eat. Everyone has to make their own decisions. I told my son that in the case of mayonnaise, Raza was right — his family used a brand made with eggs and it was called mayonnaise, but he was right, too, because we used a brand that didn't have eggs and was called Nayonaise.

Back in those days, there weren't a whole lot of vegan convenience foods. One of the brands available at the time was Nasoya, and when we had mayonnaise in the house it was usually Nayonaise. When Nasoya contacted me recently to see if I'd be interested in trying their Nayowhipped sandwich spread and their regular Nayonaise, I was happy to agree. We don't usually have mayo in the house unless we have a specific recipe in mind, and we hadn't had Nayonaise in a long time.

I dragged out an old favorite chickpea salad recipe from the blog (circa 2008) to test the whipped dressing. The dressing didn't come from the jar like the airy, whipped, creamy dressing I was expecting. It had a stiffer, jelled consistency that's hard to describe. However, when I beat it a little with a fork or stirred it with a spoon, it softened and got creamy. The important thing, though, was the taste. When I tried some plain, it was like a time travel experience back to a long-ago kitchen where whipped mayo salad dressing was being served. It tasted exactly like I remembered that stuff tasting — in a good way — and I was impressed. An involuntary "oh!" escaped my lips. The chickpea salad was especially vibrant and fresh, and I think you would enjoy it.

Chickpea salad
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Nayowhipped dressing
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon agavé nectar
  • 2 cans chickpeas (no salt added preferred) or 2-1/2 to 3 cups home-cooked, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
  1. To make the dressing, mix together the mustard, mayo, lime, sambal or sriracha and agavé in a small bowl.
  2. Mash by hand, or pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until they are roughly broken up. (If your chickpeas are very soft, mash them by hand so they retain some texture.)
  3. Mix the chickpeas, carrot, onion, celery and raisins or cranberries in a medium bowl.
  4. Add about 5 tablespoons of the dressing (or to taste) to the salad, and mix until combined. Use the rest of the dressing within three days.
note: Eden brand beans soaks and cooks their beans with kombu (dried kelp) which is supposed to make them more digestible and less likely to cause gas. If you have problems with digesting beans, try this brand, or cook them at home. Soak the beans overnight then drain and rinse them before cooking them in fresh water with a strip of kombu. A natural source of glutamic acid, kombu not only makes the beans more digestible, it also tenderizes, enhances flavor and adds invaluable vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. Remove the seaweed before serving, if you wish. Although I like most seaweed a lot, the texture of kelp is a little creepy to me and I prefer not to eat it.

My next Nayonaise test was a dressing to top bean burgers. The dressing was a simple mix of about half red salsa and half Nayowhipped dressing (you can vary the proportions to taste), and it tasted fabulous on the burgers in spite of its humble nature. The burgers were made without a recipe but they were so good I wrote down approximately what I had used. I've made them again to test the recipe and it seems pretty correct, but burger recipes are very flexible and it's hard to go wrong if you want to change it a little.

Bean burgers with salsa dressing
  • 1 can rinsed and drained kidney beans
  • 1/2 of a chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup leftover tomato sauce
  • approx. 1 cup to 1-1/3 cups GF rolled oats
  • gingerroot, about 1" or to taste, grated
  • tamarind paste, about 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste 
  • Nayonaise or Nayowhipped
  • mild or hot red salsa
  1. Place all ingredients except the oats, Nayonaise and salsa in a food processor. Pulse until well-combined.
  2. Pulse in enough oats to get a firm but not too dry texture.
  3. Refrigerate in a bowl for 40 minutes so burgers will be easy to form.
  4. Form into patties and cook on a hot, oiled cast iron griddle until browned and firm.
  5. Mix a sauce of one part Nasoya Nayowhipped salad dressing and one part mild or spicy red salsa to top the burgers. 
  6. Serve burgers on a plate with salad and a vegetable, or in a bun with sliced onion and lettuce.
The burgers will be spicy because of the gingerroot and red pepper flakes. Serves four.

I don't usually add sauces to vegetables unless they are part of a stir-fry or other dish, but for the sake of my review I mixed up a simple Russian dressing with Nayonnaise and ketchup, and fancied up my broccoli with creamy, delicious flavor and texture.

My husband and I were both impressed with the taste of the Nasoya Nayonaise products we sampled, and recommend them.

Nasoya original Nayonaise
INGREDIENTS: Soymilk, Expeller Pressed Soybean Oil, Vinegar, Salt, Dried Cane Syrup, Natural Flavors, Mustard Flour, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Sodium Alginate, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Paprika, Spice, Garlic Powder and Vitamin B12.

Nasoya Nayowhipped
INGREDIENTS: Soymilk, Expeller Pressed Soybean Oil, Vinegar, Dried Cane Syrup, Salt, Mustard Flour, Spices, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Sodium Alginate, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Turmeric and Vitamin B12.

Both products are vegan and non-GMO. The Nasoya Web site has more information and recipes.

Disclaimer: The product was sent to me free of charge. All opinions are my own.


  1. That's good to hear! I remember not being super crazy about Nayonaise, but I might need to give it another try! Maybe they've reformulated.

    1. They have reformulated and I should have mentioned it. We thought it was really good — the texture is odd at first but it mixes readily and gets creamy when you stir it. Tastes great!

  2. Nayonnaise brings me back! I used to keep it in my fridge all the time and eat it as a sauce mixed with bbq sauce, then I would stuff a pita with a veggie burger & sauerkraut and top it with the sauce mix. I haven't had that in so long!

    I would never have thought of mixing it with salsa, but that's a great idea. That salad really looks great.

    1. Yeah, it brings me back, too. Back to the days when there weren't many options other than make-it-yourself. When I didn't have Nayonaise I made tofu mayo. I've never mixed it with barbecue sauce but it seems like a good idea for barbecued food!

  3. I love the story of your son thinking "mayonnaise" was a mistake! :-)

    I love Nasoya brand (we buy their tofu), and I'm glad they've improved their "nayo" because I don't remember caring for it back in the day either. Bet the popularity of Vegenaise has been their motivation! I make my own cashew based, oil-free mayo now, but must remember your trick of mixing it with salsa and putting it on our veggie burgers (and boy do YOUR burgers ever look delicious!) I just always reach for the mustard. How unimaginative of me. :-)

    I really need to get back to your Thai posts before they get too far away from me!

    1. Vegenaise does seem to be everyone's favorite, but I was pretty impressed with the taste of Nayonaise. On the other hand, Vegenaise doesn't contain xanthan gum or guar gum, which I like.

  4. Eeep, I didn't read this! I got the same samples for review. Not reading, not reading. I'm curious to see how our opinions matched up in the end. :-)

    1. Come back and read it after you post yours. I'll be looking for your review — hope it doesn't take you as long as it took me. :)

  5. i love that story about your son, how cute! i really want to try vegan mayo!

    1. I think remembering the story was my favorite part about doing the review. :)

  6. I've never been one much for mayo, vegan or not, but I think it is about time I did a vegan chickpea salad properly. Nice looking dressing too!

    1. I've never been a big mayo fan either, and when I do use it I use a lot less than most recipes say to use. I don't like my salad all sloshy. The chickpea salad in the recipe has Thai chili sauce and dijon mustard — it's pretty good, and you can add as much or as little dressing as you like. You'll probably have enough dressing left over for the week. :)

  7. Still not reading this yet. Just wanted to come back and brag that I CAN post comments! :-) Oh, saw your response above - it's still going to be a couple of weeks yet. We're working on another review - my family is tasting the food too and commenting. :-)

    1. Doing reviews always sounds like fun at first but then when the books and products start piling up ,... not so much.

  8. It's so great to hear about how you raised your family vegan! And what a hilarious story. How funny would it have been to be a fly on the wall in Raza's house!?

    I was never a fan of mayo as a non-vegan, but since discovering Vegenaise I always buy a large jar, and it always disappears. A simple sammie of mayo, avocado, tomato, and onion: YUM. You're review has given me an excuse to give Nayo a try.

    1. I wish I could go back and be a fly on the wall in MY house! Who knew that little children would be discussing mayonnaise?

  9. the chickpea salad and the bean burgers with that dressing sounds so delicious! maybe i will eat that broccoli too:)
    that is a fun conversations.. things to note in my parenting diary when we have kids or we talk with our friends kids who will all soon be questing everything in a couple of years:)

    1. We had the bean burgers again tonight and they are really good and spicy! We had them with mustard sauce and my husband put his into a tortilla with lots of salad greens.

      Kids ask the most surprising things — it's hard sometimes to know what to say!

  10. I've got all those conversations to come. I still control his food, but I know it will be challenging once he goes to school.

    1. Cooper seems like a pretty astute little foodie so far. It's never too soon to gently discuss diet and why you make the food choices you do.

  11. Isn't it unhealthy to force your kids onto this kind of diet. Not trying to hate on veganism I'm just here to try vegan food for a little and see if I like it. But your children probably will never be able to eat dairy or meat because their bodies will simply reject those foods.

    1. I understand your concern. My kids always seemed a lot healthier than their friends. It was never on our account that play dates got cancelled. I was always honest with my kids about why we were not eating animals or their products, and they loved the food I made. When they got older, they chose to eat a mostly vegan diet, and eating dairy doesn't seem to be a problem for them. (I originally gave up dairy because of a dairy-related health issue with my son and me, though I had been thinking about it for ethical reasons for quite a while.)


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