Miso eggplant is a delicious grilled side dish. The flavors in the sauce are an obvious match made in heaven and the Japanese eggplant makes a perfect canvas to soak them up.
This side is perfect for entertaining, as it is easy to make a big platter in no time. It is a simple dish, but has amazing flavor.
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How to make grilled miso eggplant
Eggplant is a delicious vegetable, but it does need a little bit of prep work. The first step for this recipe is scoring the flesh and salting the eggplant.
I’ve cross-hatched the flesh (made diagonal cuts each way to make x’s) which will allow the glaze to soak into the eggplant even more when we are finishing the miso glazed eggplant.
Salt the eggplant and let it drain on paper towel or a clean dish towel for about an hour. While the eggplant is draining, make the sauce and set aside.
After the eggplant has drained, wipe off the salt. Because miso and soy sauce add saltiness to the eggplant, removing all of the salt is imperative.
Then, pat it dry and grill it. Brush sauce on the eggplant in the final few minutes of grilling.
Do I need to salt eggplant before cooking?
I’ll be honest, most of the time, I do not salt my eggplant. Partly because I’m lazy, and frankly, it isn’t always necessary.
The reason to salt eggplant is to draw out moisture, which it has in spades. Normally, the goal isn’t to dry out our food, but in this case it is helpful.
I want the glaze to stick to my eggplant and by stick to, I mean get nice and sticky in a good way. If the eggplant has a lot of water in it, we run the risk of it getting watery and soggy.
Meaning, the glaze will be runny and it won’t cling to the eggplant. In other words, the exact opposite of what we want.
Ginger Miso Eggplant
The first time I had this dish was about fifteen years ago in a tiny, nondescript Japanese restaurant in Brooklyn. It was so good, I was instantly hooked on my first bite.
I’ve made it at least a few dozen times since then and I hope you’ll make it too.
The ingredients and technique are simple, but the flavor is absolutely amazing. If you can’t find the smaller, thinner Japanese eggplant, regular eggplant will do.
Normally, this dish is done in the oven, but I’ve put a summer spin on it by moving it to the grill.
Grilling the eggplant gives it a smokiness that you don’t get in the oven. Which, by the way, works really well with this recipe.
Eggplant lovers, this is a dish for you. It’s also great to serve up with some rice for a meatless meal.
Miso glazed eggplant is a great side for any day of the week. It’s quick, easy and so very tasty.
Make it a theme night
If I’m making an Asian-inspired side, odds are it is going with other Asian-inspired foods. That, to me, is a theme night. And I love a good theme dinner!
- Crispy tofu noodle bowl – one of my all-time favorites, this eggplant recipe would complement nicely.
- Roasted shishito peppers – I could eat these by the pound. One of my favorite party snacks ever.
- Chicken thighs with chili and ginger – This is a variation of the chicken I served at our wedding 🙂
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USED IN THIS RECIPE:
- 8 - 10 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 cup white miso paste
- 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- small handful of cilantro or scallions for garnish
- Score flesh of eggplant and sprinkle with kosher salt. Lay cut side down on paper towel lined sheet pan. Let them sit for 45 - 60 minutes.
- Flip over and using clean paper towels or kitchen towel, wipe off excess salt and excess liquid from eggplant. (If you do not remove the salt, the eggplant may taste too salty!)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes (if using) and a tablespoon of water, if needed to loosen mixture. Set aside.
- Heat grill to medium high (450°F - 475°F). Place eggplant cut side down on grill (do not oil). Cook for 4 - 6 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 4 minutes. (Watch it carefully, as sugar can burn)
- Brush miso glaze onto eggplant and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from grill, sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.
I've made this with brown miso paste when I ran out of white and it was just as tasty!
If your eggplant is still wet after draining, press between layers of paper towel to soak up excess liquid.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1376mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 19gSugar: 23gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
Originally published 5/14/18, most recent update 6/22/20