Pan-Griddled Sweet Potatoes with Miso–Ginger Dressing

Deborah Madison

"In My Kitchen"

“I think of this miso–ginger dressing as a universal sauce because it’s so good on so many things—tofu, tempeh, winter squash, and Napa cabbage salads, for starters. And it’s a great dressing for sweet potatoes, even those that are super sweet, like Jewel and Garnet varieties. During the winter months I eat sweet potatoes weekly. If I can suggest a menu, I’d add some spicy Asian greens for a side or some stir-fried bok choy, a Napa cabbage salad, and maybe some soba noodles or brown or black rice. Not surprisingly, the sauce is good on them, too.” — Deborah Madison in her 2018 Beard Award–nominated In My Kitchen. 


  • Four 6-ounce sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1-inch knob of fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated
  • A few pinches of sugar or 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 heaping tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon light sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons toasted black sesame seeds


Steam the sweet potatoes until tender, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on their size.  

Make the Sauce: pound the garlic and ginger in a mortar until smooth, then add the sugar, miso, sesame oils, vinegar, and water.

When the sweet potatoes are tender, halve them lengthwise and score the tops in a crisscross pattern with a small knife.  Serve them with the sauce. If you prefer, skip the scoring and brown them, cut side down, in a pan or a ridged skillet in a little light sesame oil.  Turn them once by 45° to leave grill marks. Their natural sugars will caramelize and turn an appetizing golden brown.

Arrange the sweet potatoes on plates or a platter, and spoon the sauce over them. Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve alone or with any accompaniment.


Adapted from In My Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2017)


4 servings