This is a healthy, nice and easy snack or side dish to make if you manage to get your hands on some eggplants. If you have the thin & long version, then you will need at least 4-6 eggplants. Eggplants is probably the only vegetable that you cannot under cook. With this recipe, I first grill the eggplant pieces until they are nearly done, then I brush on the miso sauce, and place the eggplants under the broiler (in the middle of the oven - so the miso sauce doesn't burn too easily) for about 5-10 mins. Until at least the miso sauce has start to bubble and brown just a bit. I also find that if I soak the sliced & scored eggplant in some cold water for about 1 hr beforehand, then it retains its white fleshy colour. Even after grilling. :)
Eggplants on the Grill Pan
Grilled Eggplant with Miso Sauce - Nasu Dengaku
- 2 big round eggplants (cut into halves & score a criss-cross pattern across the eggplant)
- vegetable oil for brushing
- sprinkle of sesame seeds
For Miso Sauce:
- 1/2 cup dashi (I mixed 1 tablespoon of dashi granules in 1/2 cup of boiling hot water).
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tablespoon sake
- 1/3 cup of miso paste
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- To prepare the miso sauce, place all the content into a measuring cup (except the hot water). Mix to combine it together (the sake and mirin should help thin out the miso paste), then pour in about 1/2 cup of boiling hot water (the water line should come up to the 1 Cup mark now). Continuing mixing until all the contents have dissolved into the hot water, making a slightly thick sauce.
- To prepare the eggplants, slice them in half lengthwise and then using a knife score a criss-cross pattern into them. This helps with cooking and to retain the sauce.
- Brush the eggplants with some oil and place on a grill pan to grill until the eggplant is cooked. This should take about 5 mins on each side, and the eggplant should be soft to touch when cooked through. Remove eggplants from the grill pan and place into a foil-lined baking tray.
- Start the oven in 'grill' mode.
- On the criss-cross sides, brush a thick coating of the miso sauce then sprinkle with sesame seeds over the top of the sauce.
- Place the eggplants on the middle tray section of the oven, with the grill setting to get the miso sauce to caramelise a bit. This should take about 5-10 mins.
- Remove eggplants from oven when you see the miso sauce start to bubble and start to turn brown.
- If you aren't using dashi granules, then you will need to place the dashi broth and the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat it up until the contents dissolve and start to thicken.
- When grilling the eggplant in the oven, try to keep an eye on the eggplants as the sugar content in the sauce makes the sauce burn rather easily.
- I find that placing the eggplants in the middle section (instead of directly under the broiler\grill) helps cook the eggplants for a bit more as the sauce is able to caramelise slower.