Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
From The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman. Use the Japanese eggplant (the slender, long, lavender-colored varieties rather than the fat, almost black ones) for this recipe. Make this up to an hour in advance; like many eggplant dishes, it's good at room temperature. Or make in advance and run under the broiler to reheat, until the miso topping bubbles (reserve the sesame seeds until after you do this).
- 2 large eggplants or 4 small eggplants, long and thin variety
- 1⁄4 cup peanut oil or 1⁄4 cup corn oil or 1⁄4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1⁄4 cup dark miso (red)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon mirin or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons honey, thinned with water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, to taste
- lightly toasted sesame seeds
- Remove the caps from the eggplant and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Put the peanut oil in a large skillet, preferably non-stick, over medium heat. About 2 minutes later, add the eggplant, skin side down. Cook until nicely browned, adjusting the heat and rotating the pieces so they brown evenly, about 10 minutes. Turn and cook on the flesh side until brown, then continue to cook, turning as necessary, until tender, another 10 minutes or so.
- When the eggplant is almost done, combine the miso, sugar, mirin, and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring. Remove the eggplant and spread a thin coating of the miso mixture over each half; top with the sesame seeds. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- You can also grill or broil this recipe: Start a charcoal or gas grill or preheat the broiler; the rack should be about 6 inches from the heat source. Brush the eggplant slices well with oil. Place, flesh side down, on a baking sheet or directly on the grill. Broil or grill, turning as necessary, until browned on both sides, brushing with more oil if the eggplant looks dry. Proceed with step 3.