I’m sure that following this recipe to the T would result in a delicious dish, but I tend to be much more flexible when making it. I skip the salting part and simply brush the halved eggplant with sesame oil and then grill it the outside grill (it’s too hot for the oven when eggplants are in season!). I then simply brush on the glaze for the final few minutes. It’s still delicious!
- 2 long eggplants or 4 small eggplants (about 3/4 pound)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil, plus additional for the baking sheet
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and cut off the stem and calyx. Using the tip of a paring knife, cut an incision down the middle of each half, making sure not to cut through the skin, but cutting down to it. Salt the eggplant lightly and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with sesame oil.
- Blot the eggplants with paper towels and place, cut side down, on the baking sheets. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skin is beginning to shrivel and the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the eggplants over, and preheat the broiler.
- To make the glaze, combine the mirin and sake in the smallest saucepan you have and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 20 seconds, taking care not to boil off much of the liquid, then turn the heat to low and stir in the miso and the sugar. Whisk over medium-low heat without letting the mixture boil, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sesame oil.
- Brush the eggplants with the miso glaze, using up all of the glaze. Place under the broiler, about 2 inches from the heat, and broil for about 1 minute, until the glaze begins to bubble and looks shiny. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool if desired or serve hot. To serve, cut the eggplant halves on the diagonal into 1- to 1-1/2-inch slices.