There’s been a lot of talk about “MISO-BUTTER” lately … MISO-what ? WHAT-butter ?!
Here’s the story: several years ago, chef David Chang from the Momofuku restaurant in New York came up with this rather Japanese approach to asparagus. Roast the asparagus, place it on top of a miso paste & butter sauce (miso-paste is a rather salty, thick and creamy version of fermented soy beans, like a soy sauce paste/cream), top it off with a poached egg and voila ! Very “sophistiqué” and very good too.
Miso paste is easy to get nowadays in any asian supermarket. I gave it a try and it was quite delicious and very, very, very salty, like eating anchovies or marmite or drinking thick worcestershire sauce or a soy sauce cream ... Okay great, but what if I can’t find or I don’t feel like finding miso-paste ? There are also different kinds of miso pastes and intensities of flavor too and it’s actually a good thing to have at home to flavor your dishes and sauces, but anyways, let’s say I don’t have any handy ? What can I do ?
My approach here was to try to invent or recreate something similar to miso paste and also to reinterpret the original recipe, which is more of an appetizer and not a main course (because if I’m going to make this, I don’t necessarily feel like making an additional main course that will follow right after) ! It’s multi-step anyways so I might as well make it worth it, right ?!
My recipe includes miso paste, but less of it because I think it’s really good combined with sesame seed paste, but you can completely replace the miso paste by adding more sesame seed paste with some more mashed anchovies, some soy sauce and vinegar, and then whip it up with some butter. I’m giving you 2 versions of the sauce, one with miso and one without. The eggs are fried on top of grated cheese circles and the asparagus is roasted with olive oil and sesame seeds and it’s all served on large thick slices of toasted sourdough bread that I make every week and you can find the recipe here too, just click on this link !
And that’s my story, a starter/entrée that becomes a main course and a sauce with or without miso … :)