Sep 112014

Nasu Dengaku. No, I didn’t just sneeze. It’s just the japanese name of the amazing eggplant dish I made last week. I’m saying goodbye to summer (it pains me to say those words) by having as much eggplant, tomatoes, corn and other summer delicacies as humanly possible. I never thought an eggplant dish could beat the eggplant fries I made last year, but I have to say this might have done it. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory, tender with just enough texture, and most importantly, easy.
The one disclaimer I have to give about this recipe, is that it does require a few ingredients that you probably don’t have just lying around (unless you are a master japanese chef). I personally had never even seen miso before, and wandered aimlessly in the asian market before finally sucking up my pride and asking for guidance. Turns out it sort of looks like a paste and is often in the refrigerated section, who would have guessed? Other than a few odd ingredients, this recipe is super quick, healthy, and delicious.
Nutritional Highlights: This dish is vegan and gluten free, and is the perfect meal for your next meatless monday (or tuesday, or wednesday, etc!). Eggplant is high in fiber, packed with several vitamins and minerals, and you can have a whole cup for only 35 calories. Eggplant also boasts high levels of phytochemicals which have antioxidant activity (aka, lower inflammation in the body and help fight off free radicals trying to wreak havock on your cells. Take that, sneaky radicals). Now what about that miso stuff? It’s actually made from fermented beans and has fiber and protein because of the legumes it is made from. Be cautious about sodium though, and buy the low sodium version if you can!
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Miso-Glazed Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku)
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What’s in it:

2 Japanese eggplants (or any type you can get your hands on!)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
sliced scallions/green onions
sesame seeds (black or white)

for the glaze:
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons miso
1 teaspoon agave or sugar (you can omit this for a slightly less sweet glaze)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

How to make it:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Slice your eggplant in half lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal lines about 1 inch apart through the flesh of the eggplant but not the skin. Do the same thing on the other angle to create a little checker board–this will allow the glaze to really get into the eggplant.

3. Lightly salt the eggplant and let it sit for a few minutes if you can (the salt helps make it tender and keeps it from getting soggy and bitter). Rub with the sesame oil and cook, cut side down on an oiled baking sheet or heavy oven safe skillet for about 15 minutes until soft and skin begins to shrivel (may less for small eggplants, more for huge ones).

4. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a microwave save dish, mix the mirin and agave and microwave for 1-2 minutes to reduce it slightly (you can also do this in a saucepan). Mix in the miso and sesame oil.

5. Remove the eggplants from the oven and turn your oven to broil. Flip the eggplants and spread each with a hefty spoonful of the glaze. Broil for about 2-3 minutes or until glaze is browned and bubbly.

6. Top with scallions, sesame seeds, and enjoy!


  One Response to “Miso-Glazed Eggplant”

  1. This looks dope. Miso is also a great source of iron! In case you know any other pregnant ladies. Whoop whoop.

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