Miso-glazed aubergine made easy

If you like roasted aubergine, you’ll love this!

Nasu Dengaku is a Japanese miso-glazed aubergine (eggplant) grilled over a flame. The glaze is traditionally made with miso paste, sake, mirin, oil and sugar. Because I don’t regularly cook with rice wine or other exotic teriyaki condiments, I changed some of the ingredients in the traditional glaze. And those aubergines were a hit!

For the glaze, I substituted the mirin and sake with sherry vinegar and reduced the miso paste to one tablespoon. I also added 3 tablespoons of olive oil (can also use vegetable or canola oil) and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar cane. This tasty entrée is incredibly simple to prepare. The aubergines are all roasted in one tray and in one place: the oven.

Miso-based glaze in the making.

Miso is a thick paste made from soybeans that have been fermented with salt and koji spores. It’s available in supermarkets and organic food stores and often used to make Japanese miso soups. Nutritiously healthy, the paste is high in plant-based protein, nutrients and compounds.

It also contains probiotics that can promote gut health and a strong immune system. However, in order to benefit from the probiotics, you need to mix the paste in foods that you eat cold, such as in miso salad dressings or hummus dips.

Miso paste is very high in salt. When cooking with the paste, use just enough of it for flavour and don’t add any extra salt – there’s already plenty of salt in the paste.

As an entrée, these roasted aubergines taste great warm, at room temperature or chilled. They’re also great plain or sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds, minced chives and mint leaves. You don’t need to add any sauce, vinaigrette or salt and pepper. The simpler the better. They also taste great accompanied with a rucola herb salad.

If you prefer your aubergines more heavily charred on the top, raise the oven rack and broil them for a short minute at the end of the total roasting time.

Miso-glazed aubergine made easy

Serve as an entrée

2-3 small/medium-size aubergines (4-6 halves)

Ingredients for glaze

Whisk together in a small bowl the following:

  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp) brown miso paste
  • 2 tbsps sherry vinegar
  • 3 tbsps olive or veggie oil
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) granulated sugar cane

Topping: roasted sesame seeds, chives and fresh mint leaves

Procedure

Standard oven: 200°C / 400°F

Wash aubergines and pat dry. Cut them in half, lengthwise. With tip of a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern in the flesh going all the way through, without penetrating the skin. Gently push downwards on each side of the halves to slightly open the diamond pattern. Place aubergines in a baking tray lined with parchment. Brush tops with the glaze ensuring that some of it seeps into the slits. Roast in preheated oven on middle rack between 30 to 45 minutes (longer with bigger aubergines), or until tops are roasted. Half way through roasting, lightly brush tops with glaze. If you prefer your aubergines very charred, at the end of the roasting time, raise the oven rack and broil them for a short minute. Remove from oven. Sprinkle tops with roasted sesame seeds immediately.

Allow to cool for a short while and serve warm. Sprinlke tops with chives and fresh mint leaves or eat them plain. Serve on a bed of crisp salad. They can also be enjoyed at room temperature or chilled with a fresh rucola herb salad (the flesh is less soft when cooled).

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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