Aubergine (eggplant) is a fickle beast. It can sometimes be bitter, but if treated the right way it absorbs flavours like a sponge. This dish is part of my ongoing campaign to earn the aubergine some well-deserved glory – and nasu dengaku is good enough to sway any aubergine-hater! Let your spoon shatter the caramelised sesame ‘crust’ and sink into tender, melting aubergine flesh...
Use gluten-free miso paste.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise, then score each aubergine half with a diamond pattern, making sure not to cut right through to the skin.
In a bowl, whisk together the miso, sesame oil, maple syrup, warm water, ginger and garlic powder to make a marinade. Pour into a roasting tin and lay the aubergines, scored side down, in the marinade. Leave to marinate for 1–2 hours.
Serve garnished with spring onion and chilli slices. If you like, you can pour any remaining cooking juices into a small bowl and serve alongside the aubergine.
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