Grilled eggplant with a miso marinade tastes similar to the Japanese ‘nasu dengaku’ dish loved by many… but no deep frying is needed.
6 Japanese/Lebanese eggplants (the long thin ones), halved lengthwise or 2 Mediterranean eggplants, cut into long thin strips
1 pinch of sea salt
50g of light miso paste
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of sesame oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of sherry, cooking wine or rice wine (like sake)
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds or gomashio
1. Preheat a BBQ plate or charcoal grill for direct grilling over high heat.
2. Cut the eggplants in half, cutting through the stalks if you can.
3. Sprinkle sea salt over the eggplant (on the flesh) and leave for about 20 minutes to remove the bitterness of the vegetable.
4. While the eggplant is resting, make the marinade by combining the miso paste, brown sugar, oil and sherry/cooking wine.
5. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry.
6. Spread the miso marinade over the whole flesh of the eggplant and place in fridge, skin side down, for about 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger the taste.
7. Meanwhile, if you don’t have gomashio on hand, roast some sesame seeds and salt together in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir for a minute or two until the seeds start to ‘pop’ and jump.
8. Remove the sesame seeds from the heat and crush them with a mortar and pestle or the back of a wooden spoon in a bowl.
9. Cook the eggplant skin-side down on the barbecue or grill for about 5-10 minutes.
10. Sprinkle the eggplant with sesame seeds/gomashio and serve.