From our small, abundant garden: Japanese Eggplant with Miso Sherry Sauce

by Marion on August 16, 2017

Miso paste, sesame oil and soy sauce turn slender Japanese eggplant into an umami-rich side. Recipe below.

Japanese Eggplant with Miso Sherry Sauce

Our tiny garden is going gangbusters. We have one shishito pepper plant, and it is giving us enough peppers for a very ample side for four at least once a week. We have three Sun Gold tomato plants, and they are giving us a couple of generous handfuls of tomatoes every day. The basil, the beets, the beans—all crazy.

But right now, the biggest performer of all is our sole Japanese eggplant. It’s kind of freaking me out with its voluminous production. And here is one way we’ve been preparing it.

We’ve shared recipes using Japanese eggplant a number of times here, but I’m not sure if we’ve ever talked about them. These are the long, slender eggplants you reliably find in Asian markets and, increasingly, in mainstream supermarket produce departments. The flavor is milder, and the purple/black skins are thinner; peeling them, even partially, is rarely necessary.

P.S. Our daughter Laurel made the most amazing eggplant Parmesan the other day; I am hoping to persuade her to post it here. If not, we may try our hand at it. Like I said, the eggplant really is going wild.

Japanese Eggplant with Miso Sherry Sauce
Serves 4 as a side

3 to 4 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-1/2-inch thick coins
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons white miso paste (see Kitchen Notes)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic

For the garnish:
2 or 3 tablespoons sliced chives or scallion greens

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the olive and sesame oils to medium high in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the eggplant coins and toss to coat them, then cook quickly on one cut side until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in the liquid. It should come about a third of the way up the sides of the eggplant pieces. Heat to a simmer and over. In 3 or 4 minutes, take off the lid, turn the eggplant and cover again.

The dish is ready when the eggplant flesh is soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes longer. Plate, spooning the sauce around and topping with a scattering of chives.

Kitchen Notes

White miso? Red miso? The photo shows this made with red miso. While my favorite sauce for this dish uses white miso, the red miso is heartier, and is more appropriate when you’re serving this with, say, a burger.

Chives? Scallions? Yes. You want that bright, wild green flavor note.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

John/Kitchen Riffs August 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

Our cherry tomatoes did OK this year, but once again the squirrels got our regular tomatoes. Think we’d learn? :-) This looks good — love eggplant, and this is such a nice recipe. Thanks!

Marion August 16, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Oh the squirrels – this is why I hate them so. May I ask: are those all red tomatoes?

Cate August 16, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Where did you find your shishito pepper? I looked in a number of places in Chicago this spring and couldn’t find one. Though, I should really use up the gallon bag of serranos, habaneros, and ghost peppers from last summer that I have in my freezer before I add another pepper to my garden.

Marion August 16, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Cate, I got it at a Home Depot. This year, I found it in Evanston and last year, I found it at the one on 47th and Western.

Eeka August 26, 2017 at 8:11 am

Mmmm! This sounds so good!
I’ve been making a similar-ingredient dish (mix miso with a touch of soy sauce & sesame oil, smear on the cut surface of japanese eggplants that have been halved lengthwise, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in a 350•F oven until eggplant softens, about 30 minutes. Great hot; leftovers make a dynamite sandwich cold on baguette.). I’ll have to try mixing in some lime & garlic next time…

Terry B August 29, 2017 at 10:16 pm

Eeka, that sounds delicious! We have another eggplant dish posting tomorrow. Be sure to check it out.

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