Fall Recipe: Kyoto Style Sweet Potatoes with Miso!
There is something about going into a Japanese restaurant and having a bowl of warm miso soup on a crisp, fall day. I have such fond memories of my dad and I going to get a traditional Japanese meal on Saturday afternoons in the fall. We all know that miso soup has a unique flavor that is different than any other soup we would have on a regular day. The secret you ask? Miso paste!
We are so excited to feature Namikura Sesame Miso paste in our Fall Box! In our cooking experience with Kyoto Chef Aya, we will be using this miso paste to make Nabeyaki Miso Udon. There are also many other ways to use miso paste. It can be used to make dressings, sauces, and soups. We thought that we would share one of our go-to recipes with you that uses miso paste as well: Kyoto Style Sweet Potatoes.
What is miso?
You might be thinking to yourself, what even is miso? Miso is typically a mixture of soybeans, a grain, like rice or barley, salt, and koji, a mold. Miso was created during the Asuka period (592-710) when China introduced a food called “hishio” to Japan. This was a food made from soybeans and salt. The Japanese then adapted this food to make it their own. They made it into a paste form which is when miso was born. At first, miso wasn’t used for soup, but instead, people ate the paste like a popsicle! In the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the “ichiju-issai” style of preparing food became popular among the samurai society and gave birth to the tradition and custom of serving miso soup with every meal.
This fermented paste adds a salty flavor to most traditional Japanese dishes. The fermentation process can be as short as two weeks or as long as several years. There are many types of miso paste that come in all different textures (smooth or chunky), flavors, and colors (e.g. red, yellow, white) today.
What miso is featured in the Fall Box?
We found a wonderful miso paste that Is made In the Kyoto Prefecture, Namikura Sesame Miso. This miso paste is soooo tasty! This is a fermented paste that uniquely combines the saltiness of fermented soybeans with the nutty flavor of black and white sesame seeds. It’s almost like miso and tahini had a baby, making for some serious umami flavor! The family-owned Namikura Miso Co. has been making miso for five generations using traditional methods, and their products are widely recognized throughout Japan. We cannot wait for you to try taste the flavor of this in your Nabeyaki Miso Udon dish you’ll be cooking up with Chef Aya.
Kyoto Style Sweet Potatoes with Miso, Ginger & Scallions
There are so many delicious things you can make with miso paste, but one of our Fall Favorites are these Kyoto Style Sweet Potatoes with Miso, Ginger, and Shallots. This recipe is vegan, but we swear that the crispy shallot bits in the end taste like bacon bits! This dish is perfect as a main meal or a tasty side dish. We got the original recipe from Feasting at Home, and Emilie made a few special tweaks to it.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Feeds: 4-6 people
- 2-3 sweet potatoes sliced in half lengthwise
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1/2 cup olive oil or butter
- 2 large shallots finely diced (about ½ cup)
- 4 teaspoons ginger finely minced
- 2 tablespoons Namikura Sesame Miso (included in your box)
- Salt to taste
- 3 scallions, sliced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place on a parchment lined sheet pan cut side down. Brush or spray the skin sides with olive oil.
- Roast 30-40 minutes until a knife goes through (check at 30 mins, they may need longer depending on your oven and the size of your sweet potatoes). When tender, flip over and broil if they need more caramelization. We personally love a little color and char around the edges.
- While they are roasting, make the Shallot Ginger miso “butter”. Heat the oil or butter over medium low heat, and add the shallot. Carefully sauté until golden, stirring often for about 5-6 minutes. Add the ginger, cook 2-3 more minutes.
- Add the Namikura Sesame Miso and using a fork, mash it into the mixture, breaking it up as much as possible. It won’t get creamy, just mash the miso as best you can with the fork into the tiniest little bits, and let these bits get slightly crispy, sautéing 2 minutes or so. Turn heat off.
- When sweet potatoes are caramelized to your liking, place on a platter flesh side up. Reheat the miso butter and pierce the flesh in a few spots using a spoon, so miso butter can get down inside. Then spoon a tablespoon or two of the sauce over each one, making sure to include the flavorful “brown bits” of shallot, ginger, and miso. That's the crispy good stuff that tastes like bacon bits!!
- Sprinkle with a little finishing salt and chopped scallions.
We hope that you enjoyed learning about miso and this recipe as much as we enjoyed writing it! Miso is so enwrapped in the Japanese culture and cuisine, and we were so lucky to find this incredibly unique one from Kyoto. We can’t wait to “travel” to Kyoto, Japan with you!!