Japanese Aubergine Rounds with Miso

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8 Japanese-sized eggplants or 2 American ones
1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
4 tablespoons white sesame seeds
4 tablespoons sweet miso*
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sweet cooking rice wine (mirin)

Cut off the stems and tops of the eggplants and cut them in halves (if Japanese-sized) or cut them crosswise in 1.5 cm thick slices (if American-sized). Score skin if extra big pieces. Heat oil in pan and sauté eggplants on both sides until browned and soft. Arrange them with skin side down on a platter. You may have to do this in batches if all the eggplant won't fit in your frying pan at once. Let cool.

Toast and grind the sesame seeds to a smooth texture. Add the miso, sugar and mirin. Stir. Spread the mixture evenly over each of the eggplant parts. Serve at room temperature.

* Sweet miso is light yellow in color and the labels on the containers usually have a yellow bit.

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