Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Miso Butter and Maple Recipe

Miso butter adds savory richness; ginger and maple syrup add spice and sweetness.

A bowl of roasted sweet potatoes with miso butter and maple syrup, ready to serve.

Serious Eats / Matthew and Emily Clifton

Why It Works

  • Sweet maple syrup and salty miso add extra dimensions of flavor to roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Fresh grated ginger and white wine vinegar balance the dish's sweetness, keeping it from becoming cloying.

Like many people, we have a strategy for tackling Thanksgiving—I call it our "What Works" list. By knowing in advance that Sunday is when we make the stock and Tuesday is when we make the gravy, that this mixing bowl is big enough to hold all the rutabaga and that we'll need a certain number of chew sticks to distract our dog while we cook, we don't have to think too hard about almost anything, no matter how many people end up coming over. The trouble with the "What Works" list is that we sometimes get complacent, leaning on the same tired dishes year after year, without any variation. This roasted sweet potato recipe is one of our efforts to break out of our Thanksgiving rut this year.

Our idea was to combine two seemingly unlikely bedfellows with the roasted sweet potatoes: miso and maple syrup. Miso, especially the white kind we call for here, is not only salty and savory but also lightly sweet, making it a perfect match for sweet and earthy sweet potatoes. Maple syrup, meanwhile, delivers a complex flavor that plays beautifully off those salty, earthy qualities. Don't worry if you're serving a traditional crowd—this combination doesn't scream "fusion." In fact, if you don't tell them there's miso in it, most probably won't realize it (though they'll likely want to know your secret). And, of course, if you don't make this for Thanksgiving, it'll still be great on the table any other time.

The recipe itself is incredibly easy. We combine butter, maple syrup, and miso in a saucepan and cook them together to form a smooth sauce. Next, we stir in some white wine vinegar and grated fresh ginger, for some sharp, tart flavors to help balance the sweetness and add brightness to contrast with those earthy flavors. We toss diced sweet potatoes with that sauce and roast them until they're tender and browned. We like to leave the skins on, since they have good flavor and grow tender during the roasting, but feel free to peel the potatoes for a less rustic look.

That's basically all there is to it. Those of you familiar with other sweet potato recipes on Serious Eats may have noticed that we don't kick ours off with a low-temperature cooking step before the final roasting. That's because that step is designed to enhance the sweetness of the potatoes (by allowing enzymes that are active at those lower temps to break complex carbohydrates into simple sugars), but in this case, we already have more than enough sweetness from the maple syrup and white miso. Any sweeter, and we'd risk crossing into cloying territory.

An overhead view of a serving bowl full of roasted sweet potatoes with miso butter and maple. Maple leaves are strewn on the countertop, and small decorative squash are perched nearby.

Serious Eats / Matthew and Emily Clifton

This dish wasn't on our "What Works" list before, but we think there's a good chance it will be from now on. There are worse ruts to be in, right?

November 2016

Recipe Facts

4.5

(6)

Active: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1kg) sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 7 cups; see note)

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup (60g) white miso

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) white wine vinegar

  • 1 (1-inch) knob peeled fresh ginger, grated (about 2 teaspoons)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

  2. In a small saucepan, combine butter, maple syrup, and miso and cook over medium heat, stirring, until butter is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in vinegar and ginger and remove from heat.

    Melting butter and miso are whisked together in a small saucepan.

    Serious Eats / Emily and Matt Clifton

  3. Pour miso butter over sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Be careful with the salt, as the miso will already be salty.)

    The miso butter mixture is poured over chunks of sweet potato in a baking dish.

    Serious Eats / Emily and Matt Clifton

  4. Bake potatoes, stirring occasionally, until tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately. (To brown the potatoes more deeply, set them under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes; watch them closely to make sure they do not burn.)

Special Equipment

9- by 13-inch baking dish

Notes

We like to keep the skins on our sweet potatoes, but you can peel them if you like.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
318 Calories
13g Fat
47g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 318
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 490mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 33mg 167%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 871mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)