Miso paste is a Japanese paste that’s become increasingly popular. Everyone’s had miso soup, but chefs are taking miso to a whole new level. Miso glazed fish, miso noodle bowls, and even miso cocktails are showing up on restaurant menus.
We all learned in school the basic “tastes”- sweet, sour, salty, bitter. Scientists have come up with a fifth taste called “umami”, which basically means savory. It’s that taste where you just need another bite- tomato paste, anchovies, and miso all hit this on the nose. Umami ingredients are typically used as flavoring agents. Say, anchovies in a puttanesca sauce, or a squeeze of tomato paste in a stew.
I use a miso based glaze to liven up Japanese eggplants. A Japanese eggplant is different than a globe, or Italian, eggplant. They’re longer and thinner, with a thinner skin and little to no seeds. The flesh is sweeter and and less bitter. Japanese eggplants are ready to go once sliced, they need no salting!
Cross-hatching the eggplant allows the flesh to cook evenly. The glass seeps into the eggplant, making its way into all the nooks and crannies.
Maybe these ingredients are a stretch- and for the eggplant haters, it’ll be ok! Try the glaze on fish. Or thin it out with some hot water and drizzle it over steamed vegetables. I’ll make a miso lover out of all of you!
Miso glazed eggplant
5-6 Japanese eggplants
1/2c white or red miso paste
1 TB honey or maple syrup
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1 TB coconut aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Slice eggplants in half lengthwise and score in a crosshatch pattern. Spray both sides of eggplant with cooking spray and arrange on a greased baking sheet cut side down. Roast at 425 for about 20 minutes until very tender.
While eggplant is cooking, prepare glaze. Whisk together miso, sweetener, vinegar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
Flip eggplant cut side up and brush with glaze. Place back on tray and broil for 3-4 min, or until bubbly and darkened in spots.
Chop scallions for garnish. Sprinkle scallions and sesame seeds over eggplant before serving.