Nasu-miso is pan-fried eggplant dressed with a savory-sweet miso glaze. A grilled version of this dish is known as nasu dengaku where the eggplant is grilled with a miso glaze. This recipe for nasu-miso is simple and easy to prepare, and the taste is simply extraordinary. The soft, chewy texture of the eggplant is complemented with the unique taste of miso and a rich sauce made from Japanese condiments.
Nasu miso is really easy to prepare especially if you already have the miso glaze in the freezer. Many good cooks always make extra and keep it in the freezer. It doesn’t solidify when frozen so it’s super easy to spoon a little out for nasu miso or a marinade for grilled salmon or miso black cod. Nasu miso is a wonderful side dish for simple chicken dishes, fish, or even noodles such as cold yamakake soba.
- Use authentic shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) for best results. Japanese soy sauce has a more delicate flavor compared to Chinese soy sauce.
- The original recipe calls for dark red aka miso or hatcho miso, however, many cooks prefer white miso, which has a lower sodium content. White miso also has a lighter flavor.
- Many cooks have found that most of the hybridized eggplant sold today isn’t very bitter and hence doesn’t need the additional salting prior to cooking. Of course, if the eggplant you’re using is a bitter variety then you might need to salt it.
- Consider adding shiso, a Japanese mint-like herb, Thai basil, ginger, or 1-2 dried chilies, soaked and drained.
- 3/4 lb eggplants
- 1/4 lb green bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. miso
- 1 1/2 tbsp. mirin
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Slice eggplant in half lengthwise, then into 1/4 inch-thick cubes and half-rounds.
- Optional: Place cut eggplant pieces into a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to stand for 30 minutes for the bitter juices to drain away.
- Mix miso, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. (If the miso glaze has been prepared and frozen ahead of time, warm-up the miso glaze in the microwave for just 30 seconds so that it’s nice and warm.)
- Heat oil in a medium skillet and fry eggplants on medium heat until softened.
- Add green bell pepper and stir-fry them until softened.
- Turn down the heat to low.
- Add miso mixture and stir quickly with the ingredients. (If the sauce begins to burn, lower the heat some more and add 1-2 tbsp. of water to the pan)
- Remove from heat, stir in toppings and serve hot.