I personally love aubergine, but unfortunately can’t say the same for the rest of the family. This manner of cooking it does seem to make it more palatable for the boys, and is a nice addition to an oriental repertoire.
Aubergine with Miso
Although many Japanese cookbooks will have a recipe for this, they call for Japaense style aubergines, which are thin and long, and not easy to find outside of Asia. If you do find these, you can slice the aubergine into rounds, and after frying them, toss them briefly in the miso topping on high heat. In this recipe (adapted from one of Harumi’s books) I use regular large aubergines and the presentation of the dish works well.
To make the miso topping: In a small pan, combine the miso, sugar, mirin and sake. Place on medium heat and stir to mix well. Take off the heat as soon as the mixture comes to a boil.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Then run a knife around the inside of the aubergine, to loosen the skin from the flesh. Score the flesh side of the aubergine in a criss-cross pattern, taking care not to cut through the skin.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and once hot, add the aubergines, flesh side down. Cook undisturbed until golden brown. Then turn over and cover the pan with a lid, and continue cooking until the aubergines are almost cooked through.
When ready to serve, preheat a grill on the highest setting. Prepare a small baking tray with aluminium foil, and place the aubergines on it, flesh side up. Spread about 2 -3 tablespoons of the prepared miso on each half.
Place the tray on the highest shelf in the oven (about 4” from the grill) and cook until the miso topping is just bubbling. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Don’t let it burn. Take out and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.
To eat, the flesh should be scooped from the skin shell with a fork or chopsticks.