Nuta: Spring Onions with Sweetened Miso Sauce
Nuta is an ancient Japanese side dish: the first recipes for it appear in documents from the end of the Muromachi Era – some 450 years ago.
When I was a young girl, I can remember my grandmother making this for guests. But my feeling is that, in Japan, nuta has fallen out of favor over the years. You rarely see it on restaurant menus anymore, and few younger people seem to cook it at home these days.
I have no idea why that should be. Healthy, flavorful and extremely easy to make, nuta is poised for a come back if you ask me. In fact, over the years, I’ve discovered that people outside Japan love nuta. I always make it for my non-Japanese friends and it’s always a big hit.
Here, I share the vegetarian version of the dish, which is especially easy to make. But if you wanted to go further, you’d add squid to it for a show-stopper of a side dish. Just fantastic!
Ingredients (for four):
- Green onion (Spring onion, Scallion) -three bunches.
- Miso paste – two teaspoon
- Sugar – three teaspoon
- Vinegar – two teaspoons
- Mustard – a half teaspoon
- Optional: Squid
- Clean the greens and cut in 5 or 7 cm pieces.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Boil the greens for about two minutes.
- Drain them fully pat them dry to get rid of the excess moisture.
- In a separate bowl, mix well the miso, sugar, vinegar and mustard.
- Add miso sauce with the greens and mix well.
- Allow to cool.
Serve cold as a “chopstick vacation”, that is, in very small portions.
The sauce for Nuta also goes well with lettuce or cucumber cut into sticks. And for reasons I don’t really understand, Nuta is great when you’re drinking beer!