Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Eggplants are very strange vegetables. Yet not a lot of people know how versatile these purple plump nightshades can be. I've seen them thrown in Italian, Indian, Thai, and Mediterranean dishes just to name a few. Eggplants have this special variety because they can absorb flavor. They enhance every dish with their texture and flexible taste.
I am very excited about this particular dish because the eggplant absorbed a depth of flavors. A single bite of this dish provides the experience of umami from the miso, sweet from the sugar, nutty from the sesame oil, and sour and tangy from the mirin and rice vinegar. It is a simple dish that can be enjoyed over a bed of rice or by itself with a pair of chopsticks.
1 Eggplant, cut into small cubes (see how to properly cut an eggplant here!)
1 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. Mirin
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Miso paste (you can find it here)
3 Tbsp. Sesame oil
1 Tbsp. Water
2 Tbsp. Sesame seeds (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Cut your eggplant into small cubes. I kept the skin on for texture and color variety. Salt the eggplant cubes and set aside for 10 minutes in order for the eggplant to reduce it's moisture. After 10 minutes, evenly coat the eggplant with 2 tbsp. sesame oil. Spread coated eggplant on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. While eggplant is baking, make the glaze by mixing mirin and rice vinegar with sugar in a small pot over high heat. Once mixture comes to a boil, add miso, remaining sesame oil, and water and reduce to a simmer. Mix thoroughly so the mixture does not burn. After 3 minutes on simmer, shut heat off and let cool. Take eggplant out of the oven and set oven to broil. Pour glaze over baked eggplant and evenly coat. Put the eggplant mixture back in the oven for 3 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
You can watch the creation of this dish here!