This Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant is a great example of how simple modern Asian cooking can be. I’ve taken a traditional Japanese recipe, thickened the sauce to use it as a glaze and cooked it on the outdoor grill. It is so easy and fast, but the flavours will knock your socks off.
Miso and eggplant is a gorgeous combination of flavours, and by caramelising the glaze it really takes this to another level.
Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant
It always amazes me how the simplest of recipes can have such an incredible depth of flavour. This is one such dish. This recipe is based on a traditional Japanese eggplant dish called Dengaku Miso Eggplant. The traditional way of making this in Japan is to drape the eggplant in the miso sauce, which is a thinner version of the Miso Glaze in this recipe (I’ve included directions to turn the recipe into a sauce).
Miso and eggplant is an awesome combination of flavours. If you haven’t tried it before, you’re in for a treat. I’ve put a summer spin on this traditional dish by making it a glaze and grilling it. This creates a melt-in-your-mouth eggplant with an incredible caramelisation that I wish I could bottle up and snack on. By cooking it on the grill you get the added benefit of the smokiness, but you can also pan fry it.
There are two important things to remember when making this:
1. Cook over medium heat. Otherwise you’ll burn the eggplant before the inside is cooked. And uncooked eggplant is one of the most disappointing things in life – you know when you bite into a big hunk of eggplant, expecting it to be melting and gooey inside but instead it’s like biting into a hard sponge? Ew.
2. It caramelises quickly so don’t leave the grill once you flip the glazed side over! It will only take 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how hot your grill is.
This Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant is such a great meaty vegetarian grilling recipe! Serve it as a main or as a side. Enjoy! – Nagi x
More ways with eggplant
- Greek Moussaka (Eggplant Beef Bake) – the Greek version of Italian lasagna, made with layers of eggplant instead of pasta sheets. Epic!
- Moroccan Baked Eggplant with Beef – smeared with spices, baked until soft and topped with Moroccan spiced beef
- Grilled Eggplant with Yoghurt Sauce – simple and fabulous!
- Middle Eastern Roasted Eggplant with Couscous – slathered with Middle Eastern price rub and roasted until tender
- Eggplant is also commonly used in Thai Red and Green Curry
Grilled Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant
- 6 Japanese eggplants , halved lengthwise
- 3 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1/4 cup white miso ("Shire Miso)
- 2 tbsp Mirin
- 1 tbsp Sake (Japanese cooking wine)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 shallot/scallion finely sliced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (preferably toasted)
- Preheat grill to medium (grill side, not hot plate) or a heavy based pan over medium heat. It's important only to use medium heat because otherwise the eggplant will burn before it cooks through.
- Combine the Miso Glaze ingredients and whisk to combine and remove lumps.
- Brush the cut side of each eggplant with the oil. Do it 2 to 3 times to use up all the oil.
- Place the cut side down on the grill and cook for 4 minutes until it turns a light golden brown.
- Turn over, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. While it is cooking, use a spoon to spread a generous amount of Miso Glaze on the cut side of each eggplant.
- Squeeze the side of the eggplant with your tongs (or fingers if you can handle the heat!) to check for doneness - it should be squishy and soft.
- Turn over and grill just for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to caramelise the glaze.
- Remove from grill, garnish with shallots and sesame seeds and serve immediately.