Roasted Miso Eggplant (aka Dengaku)

I bought three eggplants last week, and everytime I looked at them, I thought about this amazing roasted eggplant with a thick, miso sauce I ate with my uncle at least 20 years ago. I slightly altered the miso sauce recipe from my Soba Noodle Salad, and roasted the eggplant with the sauce on top. The result was soft, scoopable eggplant with a sweet, savory sauce. I mixed it with rice for a delicious meal.

Here’s what you need:

3 medium eggplants, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup Mirin

4 tablespoons miso paste (I had red, so that’s what I used)

3 tablespoons sugar

freshly grated ginger

4 tablespoons peanut butter

4 tablespoons sesame oil

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice the eggplants in half. Then, score the inner side of each half with a diamond shape. Pour the olive oil on a large sheet pan, and use the skin side of one of the eggplants to spread it around. Place the eggplants, skin side up, on the pan, and roast for 20 minutes.

3. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Heat the mirin over high heat until the alcohol boils off, about 1 minute. Turn down the heat, and whisk in the miso. Turn up the heat again, add the sugar, and cook until slightly bubbly and thickened (a few minutes).

4. Remove sauce from the heat and stir in the grated ginger. Then, stir in the peanut butter and sesame oil.

5. Remove the eggplants from the oven, and turn down the temperature to 350 degrees. Flip the eggplants so they are skin side down, and spread a generous scoop of the miso sauce over the top of each one. (You will use almost all of it.) Return to the oven and bake another 15 minutes.

6. Remove the eggplants from the oven, and turn down the temperature to 325 degrees. Squish the sauce into the eggplant a bit (and add more if you see any empty spots). Return to the oven and bake another 15 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven, and enjoy with a spoon, or mashed into rice, or with a fork and knife!

Enjoy!

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