The oven roasted veggie addiction is back ! As soon as the heatwave was over, I was craving roasted veggies and obviously, I went for my favourite summer season veggie: eggplants! To change from traditional oven roasted vegetables, and also because eggplants are not best simply being roasted, I decided to season it and particularly enjoy the miso and eggplants combination. This recipe origins from Japan traditionally called Nasu Dengaku, and trust me this is to die for. This is a perfect side for any asian inspired meals, and can be added to various dishes: rice or noodle based are the perfect match.
Though I really like eggplants, I feel like oven cooked ones aren’t the best and that it makes the vegetable more difficult to cook correctly. The skin tends to dry out and burn quite easily while the flesh can remain totally uncooked for a very long time. I have tried making some a lot of times, cut in dices or halves; sprinkled with a lot of olive oil or only a drizzle; with and without salt… Well this has been fastidious, until I finally found a solution which works amazingly well to cook luscious eggplants in your oven. While I usually roast veggies in between 180°C and 220°C depending on the type, I start with the oven on 160°C for the eggplants and gradually increase the heat while they cook, up to 180°C and this is enough if you want your eggplant to be soft on the inside and super luscious!
With this recipe, I discovered a whole new range of flavours, super smoky and honestly it’s incredible ! Imagine those gorgeous tender eggplants glazed with a shiny miso marinade slightly spiced up. The texture is amazing, very soft, while the taste is a little more complex as the eggplants tend to be a little bitter, the miso paste combination brings a little sweetness and lightly spiced with the ginger and peppers. You won’t regret trying this out as the balance is impressive. In case this recipe isn’t sweet enough for you, I’d suggest you swap the quantities of hatcho and white miso so the latter, much sweeter, will take over.
Miso is such an amazing ingredient, it actually is fermented soybeans paste filled with probiotics which has many great benefits for your health and makes it a must to include in your diet. Particularly, miso paste is amazing to preserve and maintain your gut flora which is forgotten by so many of us but balances so much our overall body health. It’s thanks to the fermentation process and good bacteria contained in it that miso helps with digestion. It is also know to boost immune system, and particularly, I would suggest you homemake miso soups in autumn-winter to prevent colds or infections.
RECIPE serves 3 to 6
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 40-50 minutes
You will need:
- 3 small eggplants
- 20g hatcho miso paste
- 15g white miso paste
- 1 tsp tsuyu sauce (or mirin for vegan)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 pinches ginger powder (or fresh grated ginger)
- Espelette pepper
- Regular black pepper to taste
- Drizzle olive oil
Parsley condiment (opt.)
- 2 handfuls parsley leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Ground ginger (or fresh)
Heat up the oven to 160°C.
While the oven pre-heats, cut the eggplants in halves lengthwise and, using a sharp knife, score the inside side in a grid shape. Drizzle some olive oil over it.
In a small bowl, prepare the marinade to glaze the eggplants. Mix together the hatcho and white miso with the tsuyu sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger powder (or fresh), espelette pepper, black pepper and a little sesame seeds.
Spread the miso glazing over the scored side of the eggplants, using a generous quantity.
Place the eggplants over parchment paper and put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, then increase the oven’s temperature up to 180°C for another 20 minutes.
While the eggplants are cooking, I prepared a condiment with parsley, olive oil, ginger powder and black pepper to enliven the dish when serving.
When the eggplants are cooked, take them out of the oven and sprinkle extra sesame seeds over the eggplants and serve with the parsley condiment for the freshness.