The sweet potato is revered in Japan, where street vendors hawk roasted ones in winter.
This dish was inspired by the Japanese combination of miso and pork, with broccolini and scallions added as satisfyingly crisp and crunchy toppers. For a kick of bitterness that nicely offsets the earthy miso, use broccoli rabe instead.
- 1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed clean (about 6 ounces)
- 3 ounces lean ground pork
- 2 stalks (6 ounces) broccolini, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces (may substitute broccoli rabe)
- 1 tablespoon mild white miso
- 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
- 1 scallion, white and green parts, cut crosswise on the diagonal into thin slices
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Use a fork or sharp knife to prick the sweet potato in several places. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and can be easily squeezed.
(Alternatively, to speed up the process, the pricked sweet potato can be microwaved on HIGH for 1 minute, then carefully transferred to the oven and seated on a piece of foil. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the potato is tender.)
Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the pork and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until no traces of pink remain and the pork starts to exude juices; break up any large clumps as you work. Add the broccolini and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the vegetables are barely tender and retain some crunch.
Add the miso and water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or so, until a creamy sauce forms. If the mixture seems too dry, add up to a few more tablespoons of water, stirring to combine.
When the sweet potato has finished baking, place it on a serving plate. Use a sharp knife to make a centered, lengthwise slit in the top, pinching the potato on each end to expose the flesh and make a pocket for the filling. Spoon the miso-pork mixture on top of the sweet potato. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve hot.
From Food editor Joe Yonan.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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