I’m just back from a little holiday in Edinburgh during which I took a bit of a digital detox (I did have 1 post scheduled for while I was away) which I’m sure was good for me, but I am missing blogging and blog-reading after only 5 days away from my computer! I’m beginning to catch up with my reader and thought I’d give you a recipe to keep you going before I fill you in on my time away.
A recent survey on The Kitchn showed aubergine (eggplant) to be the least favourite summer vegetable, something I’m not hugely surprised about, but a shame all the same. I’ve had some pretty bad aubergine dishes in the past until I learnt how to cook it to show it at its best. Roasting is usually the way to go for me: simply seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled in olive oil, the spongy chunks sweeten and soften. I love aubergine in tagines and curries too, where, after a long simmer it seems to soak up whatever tasty sauce you’re using.
I wanted to try a different flavour profile this time, and travelled to the Far East for this dish. This is a cross-between Mabo Nasu, a Chinese aubergine stir-fry, and Nasu Dengaku, grilled miso-glazed aubergine. Both sounded good to me, so I combined them! It’s a quick recipe to make as all stir-fries are, and the sweet, salty miso sauce coating it all will, I’m sure, have even vegetable-haters hoovering up a whole plateful.
The seasonings I’ve used are ones I always have in my kitchen, but perhaps they’re not typical in everyone’s pantries… I’ve mentioned the company Clearspring on the blog before and their fantastic line of Japanese seasonings are what I’ve used here. I’m planning a full review of their products but for now will highly recommend these ones if you need to stock up on Asian supplies.
Note: Whichever brand of Mirin you use, something to be aware of is that most nowadays contain either sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives, so try to find one where the rice is naturally fermented and with no additives.
Sticky Miso Aubergine
We ate this as a main dish, just alongside some brown rice and stir-fried Chinese greens but it would be a welcome addition to any Asian meal.
1 Medium aubergine, diced large
1t Sesame oil (or another high-heat oil )
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 Green pepper, diced large
1 t Sesame oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1” Piece of ginger, minced
1/2T Red miso
3/4T Agave nectar
1 1/2T Rice vinegar
1 1/2T Mirin
1 1/2T Tamari
Pinch of chili flakes
Toasted sesame seeds to garnish.
Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Warm 1t sesame oil in a pan or wok over med-high heat, stir-fry the aubergine chunks in the oil for approx 10 minutes until fairly soft. Remove from pan to a bowl.
Heat another teaspoon of sesame oil in the pan and stir-fry the onion and pepper until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook, be careful not to let them burn though.
Return aubergine to the pan and pour over the sauce. It should thicken up almost immediately and create a sticky glaze. Continue to stir until all coated and hot.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to serve.
Are you one of the aubergine-haters out there? Perhaps I can change your mind with this dish!
If you’re a fan, how do you like to prepare it?