Cast Iron

Miso, Ginger, and Scallion-Crusted Sweet Potatoes

by:
February 19, 2014
Photo by Alpha Smoot
Author Notes

A huge sweet potato, barely smaller than a chicken, caught my eye at the market, and seemed like a good option for a meatless Tuesday dinner. I was also planning to buy a package of miso to noodle around with, and it seemed the flavors of sweet and salty would play well together, so I added scallions and garlic to the shopping cart, lugged home my prize, and got to work in the kitchen. Bake the sweet potato, halve it, and smear on the paste, then run it under the broiler; or use left-over baked sweets. Herewith, the result of my experiment. —creamtea

Test Kitchen Notes

The contrast of the salty, savory miso topping with the sweet potato is a winning one, and we found ourselves saving that salty, broiled top for last. In the future, we might chop up the potatoes before covering them with the dressing so as to increase the sweet-to-salty surface area. —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 3-4 as a main dish, 4 to 6 as a side
Ingredients
  • 2 very large sweet potatoes, about 3 1/2 pounds total
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 to 5 scallions, finely sliced or 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chunky brown-rice miso (available in health-food stores)
  • Hot water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for a vegan version) or unsalted butter
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. With a small, sharp knife, pierce each sweet potato in several places.
  3. Place in oven and bake until tender when pierced with a long sharp knife or skewer, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  4. While potatoes are baking, warm oil in skillet (I used cast-iron) over medium-low flame. Add garlic, scallions, and ginger and sauté until fragrant and sizzling.
  5. Place miso in a small, heat-proof prep bowl or custard cup and add enough hot water to form a loose, thick paste—maybe 2 to 3 tablespoons. Whisk until fully incorporated.
  6. Add miso mixture to skillet and stir and scrape until reduced, thickened, and darker in color, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the coconut oil (or butter), stirring until melted. Remove from the heat.
  7. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Using a rubber scraper, coat the miso paste mixture evenly over cut edges. Place under broiler and broil until topping is crisp and browned, about 4 to 5 minutes (you know your broiler best; keep an eye on the proceedings).
  8. Serve it forth, either as a side or as a main.

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