The Sauce: Miso Dipping Sauce – Asian fusion shrimp dipping sauce with miso paste, sesame oil, aromatics and fruit juice concentrate. Just thick enough to cling to the shrimp but thin enough to glisten.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Japanese New Year’s celebration
S hrimp reminds me of Okinawan New Year’s. They still celebrate with the lunar calendar even though Japan adopted January 1st more than a century ago. While living in Okinawa we joined the biggest festivities of the year often in mid-January.
Special holiday foods tend to have a 2-3 day shelf life since traditionally stores closed for the holidays and refrigeration wasn’t widely available. This is a culture that shops every day to buy fresh fish, seafood and vegetables for their evening meal. Brightly colored food with vibrant flavors and textures are arranged in divided lacquer boxes. Holiday fare includes fish, seafood, sushi, fruit, soup and mochi. Each food has meaning and promise for a good year. My favorite is shrimp, a wish for ’long life’.
I’m wishing my family ‘long life’ and toasting Okinawan memories by serving this sesame shrimp appetizer with a miso dipping sauce. A quick dip and it becomes drenched in a bright and fruity glaze. Roast the shrimp to capture all the flavor. It’s sprinkled with sesame seeds for a light crunch. For a special Japanese New Year’s dish or a party appetizer, this sauce is a fruity, savory alternative to cocktail sauce.
Recipe: Sesame Shrimp with Miso Dipping Sauce
Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 6 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings | Level: Easy
- 4 tsp red miso paste
- 2 tsp dark sesame oil
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 T orange juice concentrate
- 1 T pineapple juice concentrate
- 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger root
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 lb large raw shrimp, about 2 1/2 dozen
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1/2 kosher salt
- dash pepper
- 1 Tbsp untoasted sesame seeds
1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2 Combine miso, sesame oil, vinegar, lemon juice, orange and pineapple juice concentrates, ginger, garlic and water in a small bowl. Mix well.
4 Place shrimp on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
5 Bake at 450 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until shrimp are pink. Serve with miso dipping sauce.
Miso paste comes in several varieties, Shiromiso or white miso, Akamiso or red miso and mixed miso. White miso is made with rice and barley with a few soybeans. It has a short aging time and the flavor is mild. Red miso is aged for a long time, sometimes up to a year or more, and on the balance has more soybeans. It begins light but turns darker as it ages. It has a stronger taste than shiromiso and is more salty.
Miso should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge once it is opened. It’s high in protein and has many natural, beneficial microorganisms which can be killed when exposed to heat. Using it without applying heat, as in this recipe, preserves the health benefits. Misoshiru, a Japanese soup, is often eaten daily. Adding the miso paste at the very end of the cooking process is recommended. Miso is umami.
Sesame oil traditionally is a dark, strong flavored oil made from sesame seeds and used as a flavoring. Nowadays very light sesame oils are produced which can be used to stir fry for a touch of sesame in the dish. This sauce requires the rich, dark traditional sesame oil.
Keep some frozen fruit juice in the freezer such as orange, pineapple cranberry and apple. Use in dishes and sauces either in concentrate form or reconstituted into juice.
The Miso Dipping Sauce would also be a good flavor complement for pork chops or pork loin.
- Exchange orange and pineapple for all orange juice concentrate.
Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: January 13, 2013