Nobu Style Miso:
In a medium saucepan combine the sake and mirin and carefully flambe. When the flames die out, add the water and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the miso and, using an immersion blender, dissolve the miso into the liquid. Transfer the mixture to a double boiler and cook until caramel in color and all of the lumps are gone, abut 45 minutes. Cool.
Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add 1 tablespoon of sugar, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon to ensure that the bottom of the pan doesn't burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Yield: 3 cups
Recipe courtesy of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, "Nobu: The Cookbook" Kodansha International, October 2001