Eggplant and Green Pepper Sauté

Nasu to Pīman no Miso Itamé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

A Japanese friend living in New York, Kyoko Schwartzman, showed me how to make this wonderful ratatouillelike dish. It combines two of my favorite summer vegetables, bell peppers and eggplants, and flavors them with mellow bean paste and sesame seeds. This dish goes well with grilled fish, meat, or poultry. It also makes a marvelous filling for an omelet!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons shiro miso (light fermented bean paste)
  • 2 teaspoons mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • 1 medium-size eggplant, about ¾ pound
  • 1 large sweet green pepper, about 4 ounces
  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cup dashi (basic sea stock) or water

Method

In a clean, dry skillet, roast the sesame seeds over medium-high heat for 30–40 seconds until they color slightly or a few pop. Shake the pan to keep the seeds in motion. Transfer the seeds to a cutting board and mince them with a sharp knife, much as you would parsley. Set the seeds aside.

In a small bowl, combine the bean paste and syrupy rice wine, stirring to mix well. Set aside.

Peel the eggplant, then cut it lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick, 2-inch long julienne strips. Remove the seeds and white ribs from the green pepper and slice it lengthwise into ¼-inch julienne strips.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet and sauté the eggplant over medium-high heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep the eggplant from scorching. Add the cut peppers and continue to sauté, stirring, for 1 minute or until the peppers wilt ever so slightly. You may need to add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet as you sauté if the vegetables look in danger of scorching. Continue stirring the vegetables over direct heat for another minute until barely tender.

Add the stock or water, reducing the heat to low. Cover the skillet and let the vegetables simmer for 1 minute, undisturbed. Remove the cover, stir in the reserved bean-paste mixture, and simmer for yet 1 more minute. Sprinkle half the sesame seeds over the vegetable mixture and stir well to distribute. There should be a thick sauce enveloping the vegetables; if it appears thin and watery, raise the heat and reduce the liquid rapidly.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or even chilled. Garnish with the remaining sesame seeds just before serving.