Deep-Fried Eggplants with Miso

Nasu Dengaku

Ingredients

  • eggplants, preferably long, thin Japanese ones
  • neutral-tasting oil, for frying
  • miso
  • sesame seeds

Method

  1. Trim the stems from the eggplants. Cut them in half lengthwise.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Also preheat the oven broiler.
  3. Deep-fry the eggplants until well done. Transfer to paper towels to cool slightly.
  4. Score the cut surfaces in a diamond pattern and spread an even, thin layer of miso on them; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Place the eggplants under the broiler and broil them until their surfaces are golden and slightly crisp. Serve warm. The eggplants are eaten by scooping out the inside with a spoon.

The recipe can be tweaked to give it a Western twist as follows: Instead of sourcing the umami from miso, spread the eggplants with anchovy paste, possibly with a little finely chopped garlic mixed into it. Sprinkle yeast flakes and panko bread crumbs on top and broil until the crust is golden.

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