MISO GLAZED EGGPLANT

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This oven-baked Miso Glazed Eggplant is easily the dream dish of any eggplant lover! The eggplant pieces are nicely caramelized on the edges yet so creamy in the middle. A satisfying vegan dish that can be done in 30 minutes.

Eggplant is easily one of those under-appreciated and misapprehend vegetables. Mainly because it can be tricky to cook. However, when it’s done right, this spongy vegetable has the ability to soak up flavors and offers the best silky, sumptuous texture.

To get anyone excited about eggplant, I have a wonderfully simple recipe – Miso Glazed Eggplant. You don’t have to worry about oil and potential sogginess. Plus, it has a crispy exterior, super-creamy interior and an impressive flavor. Give it a try!

Today’s recipe is an adaption of the classic Nasu no Miso Dengaku where eggplant is grilled and coated with a sweet miso sauce. The eggplant is commonly served together with other grilled items such as tofu, eggplant, daikon, taro root, and konnyaku as part of a dish known as Miso Dengaku. You can read more about the history and recipe of Miso Dengaku in this post.

While grill and pan fry are common treatments for eggplant in Japan, here we’ll use the oven (and broiler) instead. Baking softens and sweetens the eggplant into the best texture, and it allows you to cook a big batch at once with minimal effort.

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This oven-baked Miso Glazed Eggplant is easily the dream dish of any eggplant lover! The eggplant pieces are nicely caramelized on the edges yet so creamy in the middle. A satisfying vegan dish that can be done in 30 minutes.

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Japanese eggplants (1.2 lb, 518 g)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (roasted)

For Sweet Miso Sauce (enough for 4-6 eggplants)

  • 3 Tbsp miso (I recommend using Organic White Miso by Hikari Miso)
  • Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • ½-1 Tbsp sake (or water; adjust the amount based on miso type)

For Optional Garnish

  • 2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion/scallion (I used 2 stalks since they are very thin and small)
  • 5 shiso leaves (perilla/ooba) (Optional; no similar substitutions; Eggplant, shiso, and miso are the golden combo! Shiso can be found at a Japanese grocery store).

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Gather all the ingredients. Set the oven rack in the center of the oven, which is roughly 7 inches (18 cm) away from the heating element. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
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To Make Sweet Miso Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, combine miso and sugar. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add mirin and gradually add sake to your preferred consistency (some miso might be chunkier than others). Mix well and set aside.

To Prepare Eggplant

  1. Cut off the stem and calyx of the eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise from the stem to the bottom creating boat-like halves. If your eggplants are long, you can cut them in half widthwise.
  2. With the knife, score the eggplant flesh diagonally, about ⅛ inch (3 mm) deep and ⅛ inch (3 mm) wide, into a criss-cross pattern on the open surface. This criss-cross scoring helps cook the eggplant faster and improve the presentation.
  3. Soak the eggplant in water for 10 minutes to remove the astringency of the eggplant. Blot the eggplants with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Brush the eggplant flesh with sesame oil. Place the eggplants, cut side down, on the baking sheet.
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To Bake

  1. Bake the eggplant at 425ºF (220ºC) for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the green onion into thin rounds.
  3. Roll up shiso leaves and cut them into julienned strips.
  4. At 15 minutes timer, check if the skin is beginning to shrivel and the flesh is soft and remove the baking sheet from the oven. Now change the oven setting and preheat the broiler. Keep the oven rack in the center of the oven, roughly 7 inches (18 cm) away from the heating element.
  5. Carefully turn the eggplants over, and brush them with the sweet miso glaze.

To Broil

  1. Place the eggplant under the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the glaze begins to bubble, and remove from the broiler. Please note that the cooking time varies based on how far the baking sheet is placed from the heating element.

To Serve

  1. Sprinkle the baked eggplants with sesame seeds, green onion, and shiso leaves. Serve immediately.

To Store

  1. You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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