Yield: 4 servings
Japanese salads, aemono ("dressed things"), use a wide range of vegetables, raw and parboiled, and seafood, cooked or uncooked. The dressings are flavorful and often tangy, like the all-purpose one here, which is tossed with asparagus. The white miso and mustard combination is superb.
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons cold water
1 pound thin asparagus
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons white miso
2 teaspoons Japanese soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
2 tablespoons minced scallions (white part only)
Mix the mustard powder and water together to form a thin paste. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
Cut the asparagus diagonally into thin slices about 1 inch long. Cook the asparagus slices in boiling water until barely tender; 1-1/2 minutes or so. Then run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Vigorously mix the egg yolk with the mustard. Then stir in the remaining ingredients in order; and allow to sit at least 10 minutes before tossing with the asparagus. Serve at room temperature.
Also called kyoto shiro miso, or "sweet white miso," this is nearly two-thirds rice. Smooth and sweet, it's a tasty paste that's especially good in dressings. Mixed with red (azuki) beans, it's one of the few misos used in Japanese sweets. In Japan it is also used to pickle fish and vegetables, and is a favored topping for foods to be grilled.
By Bruce Cost
Quill/HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Black & White photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created November 2000
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