Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Nasu Dengaku: Miso Glazed Eggplant | 日式味噌茄子田楽焼

Eggplants get a bad reputation for being bland, slimy, bitter sometimes and, worst off, they act like sponges that can soak up copious amount of oil. Well, it's time to shatter this myth! I like to see eggplants as a blank canvas ready to take on strong flavors. When cooked to perfection, these gorgeous purple aubergines are just divine - buttery, creamy, with hints of smokiness. And personally, there is no simpler and better way to cook eggplants than this foolproof recipe.

Use either red "awase" or the sweeter white "shiro" miso, or a mix of both
Nasu dengaku (なす田楽) literally translates to miso glazed eggplant, a classic Japanese dish that is usually skewered and grilled over charcoal. The sensational sweet and savory miso glaze livens just about anything, from fish to tofu to daikon radish. Slathered on eggplants, the result is irresistible. It is said that the name dengaku comes from dengaku bōshi (田楽法師), a stilt dancer that performed for the god of rice fields during rice planting. Since skewered tofu resembles the stilted performer, the name dengaku has taken hold since to describe this dish preparation. Forgetting the hassle of operating and cleaning a grill at home, you can easily pan fry the eggplants (with just a teeny bit of oil!) for a few minutes and finish them under a broiler until the miso glaze bubbles and gets that beautiful caramelization.

Watch as the miso glaze bubbles and caramelizes under the broiler... absolutely tantalizing!
An inexpensive, simple dish that makes use of everyday Japanese seasonings
Needless to say, this recipe has entered my repertoire for quick, easy weekday meal ideas. Simply serve with steamed rice, dressed tofu and a light salad for a healthy, plant-based meal or, to jazz things up a bit, serve together with Mentaiko Pasta for a simple, Japanese-inspired lunch!

What you'll need...
2 small eggplants, or 1 Chinese eggplant
Cooking oil
2 tablespoons water
Chopped scallions, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the miso glaze:
3 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon white, brown, or coconut sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sake

1. Prepare the miso glaze by whisking together the ingredients.

2. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and score the flesh with a knife. In a non-stick pan over medium high heat, add oil (I like to use a pastry brush directly on the eggplants for a more even coating) and cook the eggplants flesh-side down. Once browned, flip the eggplants over and cook until begin to soften. Tip in water and cook covered on high heat till the water cooks off, about one minute.

3. Transfer eggplants to a lined baking tray flesh side up, brush evenly with miso glaze, and place in the oven with the broiler function on. Grill for 8-10 minutes, until the miso glaze caramelizes. Remove from oven, garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, and you're done!

【 日式茄子味噌田樂燒 】


茄子                  2 小隻
味噌                  3 湯匙
砂糖或紅糖     1 湯匙
                  1 湯匙
清酒                  1 湯匙
                      2 湯匙
蔥花                 適量
芝麻                 適量

1. 把味噌、糖、味醂和清酒拌勻備用。
2. 茄子對邊切開,用小刀𠝹十字面,讓醬汁更輕易入味。
3. 燒熱易潔鍋,下油並以中高火煎香茄子至輕微焦香。
4. 把茄子反轉,繼續煎數分鐘。
5. 加入 2 湯匙水,蓋上鍋蓋煮至水份完全蒸發,約一分鐘。
6. 把茄子放在鋪好烘培紙的烘盤上,塗上味噌醬汁,再放入焗爐以上層發熱線烤焗 8 - 10 分鐘至茄子軟稔、醬汁輕微烤焦。最後,撒上芝麻和蔥花,完成! 

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