Move over, french fries! You may think that potatoes don’t sound like an authentic Japanese dish, but the stand selling hot miso-butter potatoes at all the winter festivals has a line a mile long, because they are awesome. Miso makes everything you put it in taste deeper and richer (while also secretly being good for you!) and if you’re looking for a unique twist on mashed potatoes for your holiday feast, look no further.
Miso-Butter Baked Potatoes
4 baking potatoes, scrubbed and poked with a fork
For the miso butter:
8 T. butter, softened
1 T. mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine for cooking)
1 T. red miso paste*
2 T. white miso paste*
Preheat the oven to 400°F then bake potatoes directly on the oven rack for one hour.
Mix the two misos and mirin together until it forms a smooth paste, then cream together with butter until smooth.
Split each potato lengthwise and put a dollop of miso butter on each.
*Red miso is salty/savory and white miso is sweet/savory. I like to combine them, but you can use one or the other or vary the ratio of red/white to your own taste.
Miso-Butter Mashed Potatoes
4 boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
Miso Butter (see above)
Put the potatoes in a pan with enough salted water to cover them and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered for 8-10 minutes until a fork goes in easily. Mash potatoes, then add miso-butter to taste. If you only want a hint of miso, put in just a spoonful, then add plain butter. For creamy mashed potatoes, add milk or cream and beat with a spoon until smooth.
Now you have seen my secrit holiday serving spoon, you may have caught a glimpse of the gatherings that occasionally occur at Chez Jonelle. If you have dinner at my house, it’s very likely you might find one of these by your plate…
(These are nothing to do with Japan, but they do make awesome gifts! You can order silverware with custom messages stamped on them from Etsy. It takes a couple of weeks, but they’re surprisingly reasonable for a present that never fails to please.)
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly Japanagram newsletter, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had