When we went to Kobe last Wednesday, I popped into Fine, a shop by Cerfeuil to see their jams and to see what was new.
I noticed some savory types and checked my cookbook written by them.
Inside the book they had a recipe for a miso dip with sesame seeds and garlic.
The recipe calls for you to fry the garlic, but since I was afraid I would burn the garlic thus getting bitter garlic, I instead roasted it. (425°F/220°C for 40 minutes with some olive oil)
It came out really good and reminded us of houba miso, which we've had in Takayama (pre-blog) and abura miso, which we've had in Okinawa.
A little sweet, a little salty, a little kick from the roasted garlic and nuttiness from the sesame seeds.
We had this with steak but I think it would also be nice with veggie sticks.
Great with beer.
Here is my adaptation of the recipe...makes about 1/2 a cup
40 grams awase miso*
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sake (rice wine)
1/2 teaspoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
10 grams garlic, roasted (about a clove and a half), then minced
2.5 grams black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
green onions, chopped (amount to your liking)
*Awase miso is a mixture of miso made with beans and miso made from rice. Different makers combine the two in various ratios. I made my own in a 1:1 ratio. If you can't get the two types just use what you have on hand. Depending on how sweet your miso is, you may have to adjust the amount of sugar. Or if you don't want the dip to be too sweet and more on the salty side, you can cut back the sugar.
Mix everything well. Let chill.
NOTES: The recipe didn't include this but I also added some chopped green onions for a spicy crunch.
The cookbook says that it would be nice mixed with some vinegar as a sauce for yakiniku (grilled meat), but we think it may not match.
It also said it would be nice in a musubi...so that is what I did and you know what? It was.
I had some leftover steak, so I cut it up into smaller pieces and heated it up with some green onions and a half teaspoon of the miso dip.
Put it into the musubi and lunch was served.
The book only talks about the dip matching with beef but I'm pretty sure this would work with pork and chicken too.
In fact, I sauteed some thinly sliced pork with onions in some sesame seed oil then added the miso (about a teaspoon), a scrambled egg and green onions.
Poured over rice, it was a great buta don (pork bowl).
We love it and I'm making this dip again.