Easy Weeknight Dinners // Un-Recipe No. 18:
Asian Fusion Stuffed Sweet Potato With Miso Agave Dressing
4.0 stars stars based on 4 reviews
Asian fusion stuffed sweet potato recipe with fresh greens, crunchy cucumbers, butter-toasted ramen noodles, pickled ginger and miso-agave dressing. Pin this post.
Baked Sweet Potatoes (pssst: >> here’s how to bake the perfect sweet potato)
Juice Of One Lime
Pea Sprouts (Or Watercress Or Any Seasonal Green)
Pickled Ginger In The Jar
2. Prepare The Miso-Agave Dressing: Add about 2 Tbs. miso, 1 Tbs. agave nectar, the juice of one half lime, a splash of rice vinegar and 1 Tbs. canola oil to a mixing bowl. Whisk all the ingredients together until emulsified. The miso might be chunky and need to be broken up. If so, pop the bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften the miso so it dissolves nicely in the liquid. Feel free to make any substitutions to this sauce … white miso instead of red miso; white vinegar instead of rice vinegar; honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup instead of agave nectar.
3. Prepare The Fixins: Cut the cucumber into 1/2″ pieces. Tear pea sprouts into bite-size leaves. I’m open-minded about what type of green to use in this un-recipe. On this particular day I fell in love with the darling little swirls of pea sprouts at the Farmers’ Market. Use what’s in season. Remove mint leaves from stems. Mint is totally optional, by the way, I used it mostly because it’s taking over my yard so I have to stay on top of that monster!
4. Assemble The Asian Fusion Stuffed Sweet Potato: Drizzle a little miso-agave dressing into each baked sweet potato, then add a generous handful of fresh pea sprouts. Layer on some cucumber and a little more of the miso dressing. Top with a bunch of crispy, sautéed ramen noodles and a couple mint leaves. Arrange a small pile of pickled ginger on the side and finish with a squirt of sriracha.
Ramen. Didn’t know you could prepare it this way, did you? This technique is inspired by my Mom’s napa cabbage salad recipe (chopped napa cabbage, crunchy ramen noodles and a sweet/salty dressing = your contribution to every backyard summer potluck. You’re welcome). The buttered, toasted ramen noodles add a welcome, salty crunch that complements the sweetness of the pickled ginger and dressing.
You can use any type of ramen noodle for this un-recipe. You could even substitute another asian noodle like chow mein or soba. I found some natural, vegan ramen noodles at the Japanese store in town, but don’t be fooled by the “premium” status of the packaging, it was still far less than $2.
Buy whichever ones you want. Even get the ones loaded with MSG if you want, I won’t judge! Ramen is an invitation to indulge; to get in touch with our primal need for salty, junky carbs.
For The Win:
Pickled Ginger. This ingredient is not integral to the success of the recipe, but I love the refreshing punch it adds when served on the side of many asian fusion dishes. This is the same kind of pickled ginger that’s served next to the wasabi at sushi restaurants, however, the one I bought didn’t have the artificial pink coloring. Pickled ginger is a refreshing way to cleanse the palate — it gives the taste buds a break after getting pummeled by the powerful flavors in this salty, sweet spicy stuffed sweet potato.
Shop The Aisle. It can be a little intimidating for me to veer outside the bounds of my family’s traditions. If you’re feeling inspired to try a new cuisine but don’t have the first-hand experience to lean on, let generations of culture make the decisions for you. When trying new foods, you can save yourself a lot of trial and error by combining ingredients that have traditionally been used together in a specific cuisine.
There is a large Asian grocery store in Madison that I love to visit every weekend. My husband and I will meander down the Japanese aisle and let our cravings guide us into picking out what looks good. Ramen, rice vinegar, pickled ginger, miso … as long as we stick to the same aisle, everything will go well together.
In particular, if you’re not familiar with miso, you will be happy to have this ingredient in your repertoire. Miso is fermented soybean paste and like most fermented foods, contains many beneficial enzymes, vitamins and nutrients. It’s similar to soy sauce or a bouillon cube in that it imparts a deep umami flavor to dishes. Use the extra to make a miso soup later in the week (dilute a few Tbs. of miso in a pot of hot water, add ramen noodles and other fresh vegetables, eat when noodles are soft and veggies are cooked, that’s it!).