Miso Hungry!

i had my first Nasu Dengaku aka Miso Glazed Eggplant at Zipang Sushi on hipster Main Street in Vancouver.  it must be 6-7 years since and i don't think i've been there in the last 2 years, but this dish had me at first bite.  i had an extra eggplant i never ended up using last week and decided i would attempt to make this heavenly treat on my own.  the recipe calls for two eggplants so i decided to use the extra sauce to flavour some soba noodles.

1 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoons (cooking) sake 
(used some white wine)
2 tablespoons shiro miso
3 tablespoons sugar
2 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise*
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
sliced green onions, for garnish

Place the mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for about 2 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to cook off. Then add the miso and stir until smooth. Stir in the sugar, reduce the heat to very low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, while you broil the eggplants:
Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with the sesame oil. Put the eggplants cut-side down on a baking sheet and place under the broiler of your oven for about 3 minutes, checking often to make sure that they do not burn. Turn them over, and cook for another 3 minutes or until the tops are a light to medium brown. Do not burn! (If your eggplant still isn’t tender all the way through, turn the broil function to bake at 375˚ for a few more minutes; then proceed with the recipe.)
When the eggplants are tender, top each one with the miso sauce and put them back under the broiler until the sauce bubbles up–this should take less than a minute, so watch them closely. Enjoy hot, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
* I used a regular eggplant, but the thinness of Japanese eggplants work better with this dish because they roast faster. Also, if you score the eggplants, they’ll cook faster and the sauce will flavour even more of the eggplant.

as the recipe states above, using a Japanese/Oriental eggplant (the long ones) works better as they roast faster.  since i used a regular eggplant, the shallower side cooked faster and much softer.  if i use these eggplants again, i will definitely cook them longer as they did not quite reach the creamy texture i was hoping for.  still, they were soft enough and absolutely delicious!  THE TOASTED SESAME SEEDS ARE A MUST on both!  


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