We are on a roll with tasty Asian-inspired cuisine this week. Here is an elegant dish out of my Japanese archives. Like Tuesday’s eggplant recipe, the flavours in this recipe are bold and beautiful – a perfect contrast to the eggplant’s milder taste. Perfect as a main for a ‘Meat-free Monday’ or an impressive dish for dinner with friends.
Miso is a fermented soybean paste that adds a salty umami flavour to many Japanese dishes. There are more than 1,000 types of miso, ranging in texture, flavour, and color. These factors can be influenced by the ingredients, length of fermentation, and the conditions under which the miso is kept. Lighter coloured miso pastes tend to be sweeter due to a shorter fermentation time. Any type of miso can be used for this recipe.
What you need:
3 small, or 2 medium eggplants
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup miso paste (red, white, or awase – whatever you prefer)
3 tbs mirin
1 tbs brown sugar
Slice eggplant in half. Using a sharp knife, score the inside into small squares.
In a pan over medium heat, add a glug of olive oil and cook the eggplant skin facing down first.
Cook until the skin is brown (a few minutes), then turn it over, and cover the pan with a lid. Cook until eggplant is cooked through (about 3 to 4 minutes).
Meanwhile, mix miso, mirin and sugar in a bowl.
Line a baking tray and place the eggplant on top (scored part facing up)
Brush miso mix on top of each eggplant until the entire surface is coated.
Put under oven grill for 4 minutes. The miso mix should be bubbling when you take it out of the oven.
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve hot. This is delicious over a bed of rice or with a side salad.
Enjoy this elegant yet simple dish.