The word dengaku now encompasses a variety of dishes that are served with a basic miso sauce, but according to legend, the word originated in medieval Japan, and referred to a skewered tofu dish named for its resemblance to the dancers—dengaku hôshi—who performed on stilts at harvest celebrations. Today, all kinds of vegetables, fish, and even fruit are served with this sauce.
4 tbsp. niban-dashi (see Niban-Dashi recipe)
6 tbsp. white miso
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. sugar
2 small fuyu-persimmons
1. For sauce, combine niban-dashi, white miso, egg yolk, sake, mirin, and sugar in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Cook, stirring, over simmering water until thick, about 5 minutes.
2. Slice blossom ends off persimmons (ends can be used as garnish), then slice each persimmon in half horizontally to yield 2 servings from each piece of fruit. Place a steaming rack in a large pot, add just enough water to cover rack, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
3. Place persimmons in a heat-proof (ceramic) bowl, place on rack, cover pot, and steam until soft, about 15 minutes. Place each persimmon half on a plate, and top with sauce. (Extra sauce can be used as a dressing for vegetables, fish, or tofu. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.)