Kabocha Squash Toasts with Miso Jam

Umami spread for your bread
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Kabocha Squash Toasts with Miso Jam
Photo: Tasting Table

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

Miso jam

¼ cup goat cheese, softened

3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted

Pinch of flakey sea salt

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

½ lemon


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.

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