Hinoki & the Bird chef Kuniko Yagi's recipe for miso jam was inspired by her childhood favorite snack of fluffy steamed buns that were grilled, then brushed with a layer of sticky miso paste.
For her American take on the dish, Yagi combines equal parts honey and red miso paste and cooks it down until it glistens and becomes jam-like. She then spoons it over toasted baguette slices, topping the toasts off with tangy goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.
It's an umami blast for the mouth. And just what we'd like to snack on right now.
To learn more, read "Sweet on Miso."
Kabocha Squash Toasts with Miso Jam
Recipe adapted from Kuniko Yagi, Hinoki and the Bird, L.A.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
For the Miso Jam:
¼ cup red miso paste
¼ cup honey
2½ tablespoons water
For the Kabocha Squash Toasts:
¼ medium kabocha squash (12 ounces), sliced ⅛-inch thick
Eight ½-inch thick baguette slices, sliced on a bias, toasted
¼ cup goat cheese, softened
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
Pinch of flakey sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1. Make the miso jam: Whisk the red miso paste, honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to jam consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to an airtight container and let the jam cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator and use within 2 months. Makes about ⅓ cup.
2. Make the pumpkin toasts: Line a medium steamer basket with the squash. Set the steamer in a medium pot filled with 1 inch of simmering water. Cover and steam the squash until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
3. To assemble, spoon about a tablespoon of the miso jam over each toast. Place a few pieces of squash on each toast. Crumble the goat cheese on top and sprinkle each toast with pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle with some olive oil and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.