Miso Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku) | Feasting At Home

Miso Eggplant

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Miso Eggplant is a delicious vegan dish that features tender eggplant halves coated with a savory and sweet miso sauce. It’s based on Nasu Dengaku, a traditional Japanese dish from Nagoya. You’ll love how easy and flavorful this recipe is!

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can be tricky to cook, but when done right, it’s absolutely amazing. It has a meaty texture and a mild flavor that absorbs any sauce you put on it.

In this recipe, we use a simple miso sauce made with white miso, mirin, sesame oil and maple syrup. White miso is the mildest and sweetest type of miso, which works well with the eggplant. Mirin is a sweet rice wine that adds umami and shine to the sauce. Sesame oil gives a nutty and toasty aroma, while maple syrup balances out the saltiness of the miso.

The eggplant halves are first scored with a knife to help them cook evenly and soak up the sauce. Then they are baked until soft and tender, and finally broiled with the miso sauce until caramelized and slightly charred on the edges.

You can enjoy this miso eggplant as a main course with some rice and salad, or as a side dish with other Asian-inspired dishes. Here are some ideas for what to serve with miso eggplant:

  • Easy Crunchy Asian Slaw
  • Asian Cucumber Salad
  • Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing
  • Furikake Seasoning Recipe
  • Chicken Katsu (or Tofu Katsu!)
  • Japanese Salmon Rice Bowls
  • Japanese Farm-Style Teriyaki Chicken
  • Soba Noodle Salad

If you love eggplant, check out our 20+ Best Eggplant Recipes!

Ingredients for Miso Eggplant

  • 3 medium eggplants (about 1.2 lb or 518 g)
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • salt

For the Miso Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp white miso (I recommend using Organic White Miso by Hikari Miso)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • ½ to 1 tbsp sake or water (adjust according to the type of miso you use)

For the Garnish (Optional):

  • 2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
  • minced green onions
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh cilantro leaves

How to Make Miso Eggplant

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with oil.
  2. Cut the eggplants in half and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, about ½ to 1 inch apart and ¼ to ½ inch deep. Be careful not to cut through the skin.
  3. Sprinkle some salt over the eggplant halves and place them flesh side down on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle or brush some sesame oil over the skin.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and cooked through. The baking time will vary depending on the size of your eggplant. If using Japanese eggplant, it may take only 15 minutes.
  5. While the eggplant is baking, make the miso sauce by whisking together the white miso, maple syrup, mirin and sake or water in a small bowl until smooth and well combined.
  6. When the eggplant is done, take it out of the oven and flip it over so that the flesh side is up. Spoon or brush the miso sauce generously over each eggplant half, covering as much surface as possible.
  7. Broil in the oven on the middle rack for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and slightly browned on the edges. Watch closely as it can burn quickly!
  8. Sprinkle some sesame seeds, green onions, red pepper flakes and cilantro over the miso eggplant if desired. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

What is Nasu Dengaku?

Nasu Dengaku is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of grilled or fried eggplant topped with a sweet miso sauce. The name comes from nasu (eggplant) and dengaku (a type of skewered tofu dish). Nasu Dengaku is often served as an appetizer or a side dish in Japanese restaurants.


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