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. 


4 servings


  • 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)