June 4, 2013
Yesterday was my day off, and so I invited a few ladies over for dinner. I served them a big pot of chicken with 40 garlic, which is an all time favorite of mine. All my guests seemed to enjoy it as they ate with gusto. And then someone asked: ” So did you use a can of cream of mushroom soup in the sauce?’. Ouch, it still hurts when I think about it, okay….so it goes to show not everyone understand or appreciate this labor of love…..next time when she comes over I will serve her the canned stuff!
After last night’s meatfest, I know I have to make something healthier to balance my diet. I want to find a dish that is easy to make and after last night slaving over the stove ( I hope my friend will read this), I don’t want to spend too much time preparing food.
The highlight of my day is usually reading different food blogs and try to find inspiration, and this morning I got THE one, it does not seem to be too much work, and definitely healthier…the baked eggplant. The sauce is everything, it is the thing that made this dish tasty, so I will be more generous next time and make extra sauce for dipping.
Here it is:
Baked Eggplant with Miso Sauce
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Yield: 2 to 3 serves
- 1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 375 gm
- oil, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
- sesame seeds, roasted for garnish
- chopped spring onion, for garnish
- 100 ml mirin
- 1½ Tbsp white miso paste
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tsp Japanese cooking wine
- Preheat oven to 180C / 356F.
- Rinse the eggplant. Cut it in half lengthwise. Score the flesh deeply, yet not cut through to the skin, with the tip of a sharp knife in a cross-hatch pattern (as shown in picture above). Spray the cut side or brush with oil and season with salt.
- Transfer the eggplant to a lined baking tray. Cover with a foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until the eggplant is softened.
- In the meantime, combine all the ingredients of sauce in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat and stir occasionally. When it starts to boil and the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven. Discard the excess water. Drizzle the sauce over the top. Sprinkle sesame seeds and spring onion for garnish. Serve immediately.
- Eggplant can soak up a lot of oil. If using oil spray, you can control the amount of fat used without making the dish too heavy.
- Mirin is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, available at Asian grocers.
When preparing the sauce, you can use a large spoon to press the miso paste and help it dissolve thoroughly.
- It’s better not to over cook the miso paste, or else you’ll lose much of its nutrition.
- When the sauce starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat as quickly as possible.
- The eggplant I used was quite large and thick. This recipe also works for small narrow ones. The baking time needs to be shortened accordingly.