Miso Pickled Garlic (Ninniku Miso-zuke)
Makes 1/2 pound
1/2 pound fresh garlic cloves
1 cup aka-miso paste (red/brown miso paste)
1/4 cup mirin
1 quart glass jar (wide mouth is easier to use)1. Separate the garlic cloves and then cut off the root ends. Remove the outer skin, and then carefully peel off the thin filmy skin that covers each clove. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the cloves and let them cook for 2 minutes. Then drain the cloves, pat them dry, and set them aside.
2. In a bowl, combine the miso paste and the mirin with a fork. Spread a small amount of the miso mixture on the bottom of a glass jar. Add a single layer of garlic cloves on top of the miso, then cover the cloves with another layer of the miso mixture. Continue this layering process until all of the garlic and miso mixture has been used. Make sure that all of the garlic cloves are covered with miso, then seal the jar and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 days.
4. To serve: Using a small spoon or fork, pull out the cloves you want to use, leaving the rest of the garlic to continue pickling. Remove excess miso mixture and serve. You can also wash the cloves and then pat them dry before serving them.