One of our favourite ways to prepare eggplant is this Japanese fried eggplant with a sweet miso sauce. Even if you don’t normally like Miso soup, you will love this.

It is so simple and quick that even the most inexperienced of cooks can’t go wrong and the amazing silky texture of the eggplant married to the sweet-savoury flavour of the sauce will astound your family and friends. It is deceptively rich though so half an eggplant per person is usually ample with a salad as a starter. If you want a larger meal serve it with some rice and peeled cucumber.

Simply cut your eggplant length ways, score in a deep cross hatch across the top and around the inside edge of the skin. This makes it quicker to cook so it caramelizes but stays soft and tender and makes the flesh easier to scoop out when cooked. Then you can either shallow fry in oil, beginning cut side down, over a moderate heat which is the easiest way, or bake the eggplant in an oiled pan at 180 degrees celcius until soft and browned. This will probably take a half an hour or more with occasional turning, but the cooking time depends on the size of your eggplants and either way it leaves plenty of time to make your sauce.

Nasu Dengaku (Japanese Miso Glazed Eggplant) Sweet Sauce Recipes

There are lots of different versions of sweet miso sauce even in Japan so here are two traditional ones you can try depending on what you have on your pantry shelf or can source easily from your Asian grocer. The sauce is poured over the hot cooked eggplant before serving and then can be finished by sprinkling with lightly toasted sesame seeds.

For 2 large eggplants:

Sweet Miso sauce 1:

In a small saucepan mix 3 tablespoons of white Miso paste, 4 tablespoons of Mirin (or 2 each of Mirin and Sake), 1 tablespoon Japanese or light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 4 tablespoons of Dashi stock or water with a little Dashi powder added.

Sweet Miso sauce 2:

In a small saucepan mix 2 tablespoons of white Miso paste, two tablespoons of red Miso paste, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of Mirin and 1 teaspoon of either Dashi or bonito powder. stir until it comes to a simmer but do not boil.

Read more about these ingredients here:
Miso paste (red/white)

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