This recipe for roasted Japanese turnips, also known as Hakurei turnips, tossed in maple miso butter is SO delicious! Made with only a handful of ingredients, it’s a simple vegetarian side dish that still packs a ton of sweet, salty, and umami flavor notes.
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This is the last recipe post I have for you in 2020, and I thought it was only fitting to end this veggie-filled (and chaos-filled) year with a dish that highlights a unique vegetable! It is a Veg World, after all ;-).
These roasted Japanese turnips are coated in a downright delicious combination of melted butter, sweet white miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Once you try this combination, you’ll pretty much be running back for a second helping.
The miso paste (made from fermented soybeans and rice) contributes an umami taste, the syrup and vinegar add some sweetness, and the butter yields a velvety mouthfeel.
But you may be thinking…turnips? Can they really be the star of a meal?! Hold the skepticism for just a second, and let me tell you all about the lesser known turnip variety I used in this recipe.
What is a Japanese turnip?
Japanese turnips, also known as Hakurei turnips, are a small, white variety of turnips. They have a sweeter and milder taste than purple top turnips with a crisp flesh that’s reminiscent of apples.
Their mild flavor makes them quite enjoyable to eat raw, and they’re often served that way in salads. However, roasting makes them even sweeter.
Japanese turnips, as their name suggests, were first cultivated in Japan. Today, you can find them in many regions during the fall and winter. Nutritionally, Hakurei turnips are similar to other varieties. They are rich in vitamin C and also provide vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber.
Where to Buy Japanese Turnips
You may be able to find Hakurei turnips at the farmers market during the fall and winter. They also appear in CSA or farm share boxes, and stores like Whole Foods, co-ops, or other health food stores may carry them. I got my bunch from a local farm-to-table restaurant that also sells veggies.
How to Make Roasted Japanese Turnips
Alright, let’s get to the recipe for roasted Japanese turnips!! As a reminder, I’m just giving you a preview of the recipe here. Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for full details.
- Scrub and trim the turnips. Toss them in olive oil. Spread out on a lined baking sheet, and roast until tender.
- In the meantime, heat the butter, miso, maple syrup, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Add a dash of soy sauce, and keep warm until the turnips are ready. Toss the turnips in the sauce, and devour!
- I like to use sweet white miso paste for my roasted Japanese turnips. You can find miso paste at many grocery stores, usually in the refrigerated condiment section close to the salad dressings.
- Wait to prepare the sauce until 5 or 10 minutes before the turnips are finished roasting. This will ensure the sauce is fresh and warm when you eat the dish.
- The turnips and sauce are best enjoyed right away, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute until warmed through.
- Feel free to substitute other turnip varieties in this recipe. You can also sub honey for maple syrup and tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce.
More Turnip Recipes
If you love these delicious roasted Japanese turnips, you should also check out the Roasted Turnips and Pears with Rosemary Honey Butter, Turnip Stir Fry with White Beans, and the Turnip Hash Brown Cakes with Apple Chutney. For another recipe with miso, try the Roasted Golden Beets with Maple Miso.
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Roasted Japanese Turnips Recipe
- 1 bunch Japanese turnips - about 6 turnips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Scrub and trim the turnips, then dice into cubes. Transfer the turnips to the baking sheet, and toss with olive oil. Spread them out in a single layer, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until tender and lightly browned. You may want to flip them halfway through cooking.
- A few minutes before the turnips are finished roasting, combine the butter and miso in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter and miso melt down. Stir in the syrup, vinegar, and soy sauce until smooth. Keep warm, and toss the turnips in the sauce before serving. Enjoy!
- If you can’t find Japanese turnips, you can substitute other varieties.
- This dish is best eaten right away, but leftovers will last for a couple days in the fridge. Reheat for about one minute in the microwave.
Have a happy and healthy 2021! – Lizzie