6 medium turnips (685g), scrubbed and tops removed leaving 2cm of stem
4 tablespoons white or inaka miso
2 teaspoons finely slivered yuzu peel
¾ teaspoon gold sesame oil
Finding a well-grown onion is worth the effort for this recipe. The best way to tell the difference between a large-scale grown onion and a small, responsible farmer–grown onion is to taste them raw. If the onion is unpleasantly hot or insistent, then maybe it is not what you want to use in cooking either. Mild, sweet onions yield mild, sweet results. Negi (Japanese leeks, an allium more similar to fat scallions than Western leeks) sliced into thin rounds can be substituted for the onion. This dish works well as a salty bite before dinner or a condiment to a bowl of rice.
Strew the sliced onions in the bottom of a heavy medium pot. Dollop the miso on top of the onions but do not mix, otherwise the miso will burn. Cover the pot and steam the onions over low heat until they have released their juices and have softened, but still have a pleasant crunch, about 15 minutes. (Take care not to scorch the bottom. Using a flame retarder could be advantageous.)
Stir the miso into the softened onions and scrape into a bowl for serving. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi, if you like.
Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu $70 / Phaidon.com