If you’ve been following my Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve had a bit of a baking itch lately, jumping at every opportunity to practice my cake making skills (and running into a lot of failures one the way). For those weekends where I can’t an excuse to bake cake, I like to experiment with different foods in the kitchen, and my idea of fun is any recipe that’s completely new- the more unique and complex, the better of course!
As much as I love spending my weekends on these food experiments, when it comes to taste, sometimes simple is best and that certainly is the case with this delicious miso eggplant dish. I had my first taste of miso eggplant in a Japanese restaurant last year and was blown away by how amazing a simple dish of grilled eggplant with miso sauce could taste.
The restaurant version is most likely deep fried, not only giving it a crispy exterior, but also the softest and creamiest texture from the oil absorbed by the eggplant. Eggplant tends to absorb oil, due to the sponge-like structure of the flesh and this is why they are often so tasty- the fat carries much of the flavour!
My version of the dish is baked so it is much lighter, it only uses a light brush of oil and relies on the miso sauce to impart flavour. Scoring the eggplant allows the flavour to get within the eggplant, and letting the sauce cook a little in the oven adds a light char and an extra dimension to the flavour.
It’s simple, it’s quick, it might not look all that exciting. But hey. It works!
- 1 large egg plant
- vegetable oil, for brushing
- 2tbs miso
- 3tbs sugar
- 2tsp sake
- 2tsp mirin
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Take a firm egg plant and slice it in half, then slice a slither off the base which will help it to stand up later. Then lay face up in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Remove, and wipe with a paper towel.
- Add the mirin, sake, sugar and miso to a pot and meat gently while stirring.
- Lightly score the cut surfaces of the eggplant in a cross pattern, then brush with a little oil.
- roast the eggplant in a 200°C oven for 15 minutes, until just cooked
- Brush the eggplant with a thick layer of the miso sauce (step 2) and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the miso is toasted and fragrant. Scatter the eggplant with sesame seeds and serve.