Miso Vegetables (Yasai dengaku カボチャ)

Trying to clear out my fridge, I thought that I would make something in the style of miso eggplant (nasu dengaku).

Recipe is from momofukufor2.

1 tablespoons mirin*
1 tablespoons sake (or any alcohol to hand)
2 tablespoons miso paste*
3 tablespoons sugar*
Four to six chunky slices of vegetables –
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
sliced green onions*, for garnish


Place the mirin (I used verjuice) and alcohol (tequila) in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for about 2 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to cook off. Then add the miso and stir until smooth. Stir in the sugar, reduce the heat to very low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.

I used ‘sweet miso’ rather than ‘shiro miso’. This has half the amount of salt than the aka miso, and I thought that I would get a better miso taste, and less salt. So I compensated by using 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of 3.

When the sugar is added to the mixture on the stove, the mixture turns into this glossy oozy caramel.

Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut pumpkin into chunky slices, about 3cm thick. Parboil the vegetables for 5 minutes, drain.

Miso Vegetables

Score on each side with a knife and sprinkle with sesame oil. Place under grill until it colours, then flip over. Sprinkle with sesame oil and place under the grill again.

Spread the miso sauce on the vegetables and put them back under the grill until the sauce bubbles up–this should take less than a minute, so watch them closely. Enjoy hot, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.

I had some organic snow pea sprouts, which I snipped up and sprinkled as the garnish.

Miso Vegetables

Verdict?

Not bad. It seems that the vegetables really are just a carrier for sticky sweet miso flavoured caramel. I had difficulty getting the tops to brown without burning.

Next time?

Spread the sauce over more vegetables – that’s what I’m interested in, not the sugar! I definitely think that the recipe worked with the pumpkin and zucchini. I would separately toast the sesame seeds (as recommended in the original recipe), rather than try and toast on the veggie. The use of the sweet miso paste is really a winner because it isn’t salty at all. I may even reduce the amount of sugar next time.

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