Miso and eggplant is a gorgeous combination of flavours. If you've never tried it before, you're in for a treat. The traditional Japanese way of making this is not grilled, it is served with the eggplant sautéed and draped with a miso sauce which is simply a thinner version of the miso glaze (see notes for directions). By grilling this, you get an incredible caramelisation which I find irresistible, while the inside is melt-in-your-mouth. This dish can be cooked on the barbecue or on stove top, though I really encourage you to try it on the grill if you can because the smokey flavours really make this something special.
1. It's best to use Japanese (lebanese) eggplants for this recipe. They are thinner than normal eggplants so when they are cut vertically they will cook through. This recipe can also be made with normal eggplant but it won't look the same. Just cut into rounds about 2 cm / 1 inch thick, brush the oil on both sides (you will need an extra 1 tbsp of oil) then follow the directions of the recipe.
2. Shiro is a type of miso which nowadays is available in major supermarkets in Australia. It is lighter in colour and slightly sweeter than normal miso which is used for miso soup. You can substitute with normal miso but you will need to add an extra 1 tsp of sugar.
3. You can substitute the sake with Chinese cooking wine or sherry. If you don't have any of these, you can substitute with water and I promise it is still really tasty!
4. In Japan, this is traditionally served with the eggplant sautéed and the Miso Glaze as a sauce. You can create this simply by adding 1 tbsp of water to the sauce and steaming the eggplant, then just pour the sauce over the eggplant (without caramelising it).