- Nori Crisps
- Miso-glazed Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Black Sesame (recipe follows)
- Soba with Mushroom Dashi (from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian) and Scallions, topped with Parsnip and Broccoli Tempura
- Silken Peanut Butter-Chocolate Pie (or whatever it's called) from VwaV [This seems like an anomaly, but since it's tofu-based and actually tastes a lot like the black sesame ice cream I ate once at a Japanese restaurant I figured it would fit in. Plus it's a delicious vegan dessert and that's good enough for me. My guests had no complaints.]
My friend the chef had good things to say about the miso sauce on the sweet potatoes and asked how I made it. Here's what I did (all measurements are approximate, as I was basically flying by the seat of my pants):
- Boil 3 sweet potatoes (1-2 inch diameter) in their skins for 15-20 minutes. You should just be able to stick a fork into the center when they're done.
- While they're cooking, toast about 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes, shaking often, until they start to smell good. Remove from heat and set aside. Then make the sauce: measure out 1/4 cup red miso into a medium bowl, thin with 1/4-1/3 cup boiling water, stir until smooth. Add approx. 2 tablespoons mirin and a teaspoon or two rice wine vinegar.
- When sweet potatoes are finished cooking, drain and peel as soon as they are cool enough to handle, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Add miso sauce, mix gently (no need to be too thorough). Sprinkle generously with toasted black sesame seeds. Serve.