In this unusual combination, miso and turnips pair well together because of their complementary flavours and textures
• 2 teaspoons gold sesame seeds
• 6 medium turnips (11⁄2 lb/685 g), scrubbed and tops removed leaving 3⁄4 inch (2 cm) of stem
• 4 tablespoons white or inaka miso
• 2 teaspoons finely slivered yuzu peel
• 3⁄4 teaspoon gold sesame oil–
1 In a small, dry frying pan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until fragrant, shaking the pan and lifting off the heat if needed to avoid scorching.
2 Slide into a suribachi [grinding bowl] or spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder.
3 Turn the turnips on their sides and slice off the tops about one- quarter of the way down from the top to form a lid (try to keep track of which top goes with which turnip bottom).
4 Scoop out the inside of the turnip bottom to form a receptacle for stuffing. Push the scooped out turnip through a coarse sieve (or pulse in a food processor) and divide the smashed turnip between two small bowls.
5 Fold half of the miso into one bowl of smashed turnip and half into the other. Mash the yuzu peel into one bowl and the ground sesame seeds and sesame oil into the other.
6 Spoon the yuzu miso into 3 of the scooped-out turnips and the sesame miso into the remaining turnips. Cover with the tops of the turnips.
7 Set up a steamer and bring the water to a boil. Arrange the stuffed turnips in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until softened but not mushy when poked with a bamboo skewer, 15–18 minutes.
8 Serve warm on individual ceramic plates as a large appetizer.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Singleton, extracted from Japan: The Cookbook