I always buy eggplants, full of good intentions and at the end of the week, they are often still sitting in the crisper. Eggplants are one of my faves but they do take some time to cook. Most Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dishes need a longer cooking time to bring out their best. I don’t always have that time to spare. The treatment of eggplant in Asian dishes is often speedier such as this dish for Nasu Dengaku or Miso Glazed Eggplant. This makes it perfect for a week night meal served as is or with an accompaniment of Japanese Soba (buckwheat) noodles to soak up the juices. The umami flavours of this Miso Glazed Eggplant will perk up the most jaded palate.
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tbsp miso paste (any colour)
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp water (or Sake if you have it)
- 1 large spring onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Cut eggplants into quarters, lengthwise. Slash the eggplant flesh 3 or 4 times across each piece.
- Place eggplant pieces in a large plastic bag, close loosely and cook on high in microwave for 5 minutes. This starts to steam the eggplants and speeds up cooking later.
- Whilst the eggplant is steaming, place miso, vinegar, sugar, mirin and water in a small saucepan and heat gently to combine. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Remove eggplant to a baking tray lined with foil (grease the foil). Place cut side up (skin underneath) and splash & drizzle sesame oil evenly over eggplant.
- Place under a hot grill to further cook and brown eggplant. You don’t want the eggplant to burn so if it’s browning too quickly, place tray on a lower shelf or turn heat down. This should take around 7 – 10 minutes but it really depends on your grill. The eggplant is ready when it is browned and cooked through. It should be soft but not completely collapsed.
- Remove eggplant and place in greased baking dish. Spoon miso topping evenly over eggplant, making sure that there is some in the slashes. You need the baking dish rather than tray so you can catch the juices.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced spring onion.
- Return to grill and cook until sauce is bubbling and caramelised – around 10 minutes but make sure you watch it so it doesn’t catch and burn.
Serves: 2 eggplants will serve 4 as an entrée or accompaniment or 2 people as a main course
Well, I’m off to Bali tomorrow so I hope to have lots of Bite Sized Food Adventures to share with you soon.