Braised Eggplant in Sesame and Bean Sauce (Nasu No Rikyu Ni)

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Total Time
35mins
Prep
15 mins
Cook
20 mins

From Elizabeth Andoh's classic "At Home With Japanese Cooking". Chunks of eggplant braised in a smooth, pungent sauce, garnished with toasted white sesame seeds, a good accompaniment to salt-grilled fish, steamed chicken, or a fluffy omelet.

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 34 lb eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 13 cup dashi (basic Japanese soup stock)
  • 2 12-3 tablespoons sendai miso (dark bean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 12 tablespoons sake
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Remove the stem and peel the eggplant unless you are sure the skin will not be tough (Japanese miniature eggplants are very sweet with tender skins; if you can find them, just quarter them) Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes and saute them in the oil over high heat, stirring, until translucent. Pour in the dashi, lower the heat to barely maintain a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. If you have a dropped lid, use it,; if not, leave a regular lid askew, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat combine the bean paste, sugar, and sake, stirring until smooth. Stir this sauce into the simmering eggplant and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Dry toast the sesame seeds in a skillet until they are golden. Transfer them to a suribachi (Japanese grinding mortar) and grind them coarsely, or turn them out on a dry cutting board and cut them (as you would mince parsley) to release their aroma. Fold half the sesame seeds into the eggplant mixture, before removing from the heat.
  4. Enjoy the eggplant warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, garnish with the remaining sesame seeds.