Grilled Miso Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku)
Running out of Christmas ideas. Here is a festive, yet simple Japanese inspired vegetarian recipe. It has the perfect colors for the Holidays too! Lately I’ve been expanding my knowledge on fermenting food. Fermented foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso and kimchi are not only healthy to consume, but they also come with a special taste, which you need to get use to. But what are fermented foods actually? Fermented foods have been gone through a process of lactofermentation, which means that natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food and therefore creates lactic acid. Because of the fermentation, foods are preserved and all good enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids and probiotics are kept alive. Eating fermented food also benefits to an improved digestion system. If you think of the common Japanese ingredient Miso, you would automatically think of the famous Miso soup. As I’m experiencing a lot on miso, I also love to make a miso sesame dressing and pour this over my cold silky tofu, or what about miso as a substitute for salt. Today I share a simple but great recipe with my favorite veggie the eggplant. I seriously can’t get enough of eggplant. I love the tender meat texture and sturdy skin. Andrew doesn’t really like it, but that’s I think due to the fact that his mom told him not to eat too much eggplant as it can cause infertility with men (?) Well we are expecting our second child, so there’s nothing wrong with you honey… Luckily Rocco loves eggplant, as one of the very few vegetables, under one condition, it has to be all mushy and soft. Depending on how long you want to keep these Miso eggplants under the grill, they will either be super soft or still a little bit dense, up to you. Ok let’s make these babies!
Grilled Miso Eggplant
Serves 2-3 portions
- 3 Japanese eggplants (long and skinny ones)
- 2 tablespoon of white miso
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 fresh chili pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried chili flakes (leave this out when serving for children)
- 1 scallion / green onion
- 1 tablespoon of quinoa seeds (or toasted sesame seeds)
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Cut in the middle of each half, making crosses, make sure not to cut through the skin. Salt the eggplant lightly and let sit for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast the eggplants for about 20 minutes until flesh is soft. Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler or use a torch. To make the glaze, combine miso, sugar and ginger to a paste. Brush the eggplants with the miso glaze, using up all of the glaze. Place under the broiler, about 5 cm from the heat, and broil for about 1 minute, until the glaze begins to bubble and looks shiny. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool if desired or serve hot.