Friday, March 15, 2013
an expensive experiment
I really like miso - in fact, one of my favorite things about eating at Japanese restaurants (hibachi or otherwise) is getting a bowl of miso soup. So when I saw this recipe for roasted sweet potatoes in a miso sauce, I knew I wanted to try it (even though I couldn't quite figure out how those two flavors - sweet potatoes and miso - would blend).
But then I had to find the miso paste. Now, there are some ingredients that I know will be difficult to find in my area, but miso paste seemed just common enough that I expected my grocery store to have it (especially with their recent remodel that included an expansion of the international foods section). I was wrong. We even asked a manager, and he had to share the disappointing news that not only did they not carry it, but he didn't know what it was.
"That's okay," I thought. "I bet I can check at the local health/organic food store and they'll have it."
Oh, they had it, alright. I just didn't realize how much that one tub of miso paste would cost. Luckily, I already had a can of tahini (from making this dish), because if I'd had to buy the two containers together, I may have opted out of trying this recipe. (I realize this isn't true for everyone, but two containers of ingredients that I only need a few tablespoons of, that I may or may not like is not something I am thrilled to spend $20 ($12 for the miso and $8 for the tahini) to purchase.)
Thankfully, when I made the recipe last week, the sauce was really delicious and created a savory complement for the sweet potatoes. I haven't gotten to try it on other veggies or sides (as the author suggests), but I can definitely imagine this tasting good on carrots or cauliflower. Accompanied by baked chicken drizzled with ginger dressing (because anyone who's eaten at a Japanese restaurant knows that ginger dressing and miso go together, right??), it was a yummy dinner. The only thing I would do differently is to add another veggie to fill the plate - maybe some edamame (which yes, would be a lot of soy, but still a good flavor to include, nonetheless).
So while this was an expensive experiment, it is one I will repeat. Now that I have a whole tub of miso paste.
Where I am: North Carolina
What I'm reading: just finished Wrightsville Beach magazine