Fellow eggplant lovers, hope you give this a try. This recipe is similar to an amazing miso eggplant dish my mom makes, but differs in many respects. Hers is boldly salty and sweet, rich, and hearty. This one is mild, delicate, and delicious. I used shiro miso (which is sweeter than red miso), so the saltiness was not at the fore. In fact, I thought it could’ve used more salt, but decided it was healthier to leave it alone. Sodium levels in miso vary, so taste and adjust accordingly.
I pulled this recipe from a Japanese cookbook by Kentarō, who I kind of see as a Japanese Jamie Oliver. He’s young, hip and uses contemporary ingredients and methods for his dishes. This particular book has a lot of Chinese, Korean, and Italian influence and is printed on nice uncoated stock. (The designer in me loves uncoated stock for luscious food photography. I know it shouldn’t matter, but one thing I detest in a cookbook are glossy pages. Eww!) Ahem… sorry. What I meant to say is happy cooking!
Miso Eggplant with Beef
Adapted from ケンタロウのおかずの王様
Makes 2 servings
3.5 oz ground beef
3 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 green onion, cut to 1/2 inch sections
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 square inch of fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp. sake
1 Tbsp. miso
1/2 Tbsp. mirin
1/2 tsp. shoyu
3-4 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
salt, to taste
Heat the canola oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and turn the heat to high. When the eggplant absorbs the oil and becomes soft, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Turn the heat to low and quickly wipe the pan with a paper towel to clean. Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and green onions and cook until fragrant. Turn the heat to high and add the ground beef. Season with salt and cook until the beef is no longer pink. Once cooked, add the eggplant, mix, and add the sake, miso, mirin, and shoyu. Stir until incorporated and serve.