It is easy to think of potatoes, and fortunately for men who have not much money it is easy to think of them with a certain safety. Potatoes are one of the last things to disappear, in times of war, which is probably why they should not be forgotten in times of peace.
M.F.K. Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf
Do you throw your potatoes into a dark corner of your pantry and forget about them? I am guilty of allowing an entire bag of red or yukon gold potatoes to turn mushy, forgotten until the stench of rot greets me when I open the pantry door. Yuck! I tend to focus on complex carbohydrates like barley, brown rice, and quinoa, but potatoes really ought to find their way back into our meals as the weather cools, and we turn to heartier options.
We consider Friday nights to be “date night” even though that typically means a quiet dinner home alone with a special bottle of wine and music. I typically spend more money and more time on my menu – quite often preparing a 3 course meal. Last Friday, I had a hankering for potatoes. These would be no ordinary potatoes. I wanted to do bamboo steamed fish and miso glazed beets and kale, and I wanted my potatoes to complement the other two dishes. The Japanese flavor profile includes ingredients like ginger, sesame, garlic, miso, soy sauce, wasabi, etc. I decided to try doing smashed potatoes with sesame oil, wasabi and roasted garlic. One of my favorite Japanese condiments is furikake seasoning. I do make furikake, but I keep a commercially prepared jar in my well-stocked pantry as well. Its traditional use is as a seasoning for rice. I figured the salty, nutty, earthy, slightly fishy flavors might really work on potatoes.
A great way to incorporate potatoes into an Asian-inspired meal. This dish pairs well with bamboo steamed fish and teriyaki chicken...
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 1 whole bulb garlic*
- 2 1/2 lb. new red potatoes, skins on, scrubbed, and quartered
- water (to cover)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I like Greek, but either is fine)
- 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tsp. wasabi paste**
- 3 tsp. soy sauce
- 3 tsp. sesame oil
- sesame oil
- scallions, chopped (about 3)
- furikake ***
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or 350 convection roast).
Turn the garlic bulb on its side, slice through the papery skins at the tip - not stem end - just enough to expose the cloves. Place in a small oven proof ramekin, and roast about 30 minutes (24 minutes convection roast) until soft and caramelized. Set aside to cool. When cool squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their papery skin, and set aside. Be careful to remove any skin from the cloves.
While garlic roasts, place quartered potatoes in a large saucepan. Completely cover with water. Add salt. Cook on high heat until fork tender.
While potatoes cook, chop the scallions. If making the furikake, do that now as well.
Drain the potatoes just prior to serving them to keep them hot. Return to the pan. Add yogurt, broth ( a little at a time), roasted garlic, wasabi, soy, and sesame oil to achieve a firm but creamy texture. I suggest adding the wasabi and soy in stages to taste. Wasabi does provide spicy heat, and the amount is according to your taste. Soy sauce is salty, and adding about half to start is appropriate. Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes. Leave some lumps and the skins intact.
Scoop into a serving vessel or prepared plates, and garnish with chopped scallions, furikake, and a couple drops of sesame oil. Enjoy!
* If you don't have the time (or the desire) to roast your own garlic, some markets are selling roasted garlic cloves in the produce department. You can substitute minced garlic, but cut it back to 2 cloves as the flavor is not as subtle as roasted. The roasted garlic is worth the effort in my opinion. br]
** I keep a tube (it's green) of wasabi paste in my fridge for convenience as a flavoring agent. You can use wasabi powder, and add water to make a paste.
*** I keep [furikake in my pantry - either prepared (from an Asian market) or my own. I probably wouldn't try to make it while I cook the potatoes. You probably won't find this ingredient at a "regular market."
It won't hurt to keep the potatoes in an oven-proof dish until right before serving. A warm oven should do the trick. Save garnishing until serving or plating. If you plan to keep them in the oven more than 10 minutes or so, cover loosely with foil or place a lid on the pot.
I am pretty conservative with portion sizes. This recipe makes about 4 cups of smashed potatoes. That allows 1/2 cup servings for 8 people. If you prefer more generous portions, keep in mind the calorie count will increase 🙂