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Grilled Japanese Eggplant

These are a great izakaya-style appetizer, or chop coarsely and add to a bowl of hearty udon noodles. Make extra miso sauce, and use as a dressing for a cold grilled eggplant udon noodle salad, served with chopped scallions on top. Serves 4 to 6. Prep time: 15 minutes active; 30 minutes total.


4     tablespoons red miso
4     tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
4     tablespoons tamari
2     tablespoons brown sugar Vegetable oil
6     medium Japanese eggplants


  • In a small saucepan, whisk the miso, mirin, tamari, and sugar.
  • Place the pan over medium heat and whisk as the mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring, just to thicken slightly. Let cool.
  • Trim the stem ends from the eggplants and halve each lengthwise. Use the tip of the knife to cut slashes in the flesh of each eggplant, cutting almost to the skin but not through it. Brush lightly with oil.
  • Preheat a grill pan or grill.
  • When hot, place the eggplants on the grill, cut side down. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the eggplant is marked and softened on that side.
  • Flip the eggplant pieces cut side up, and drizzle with the miso sauce, using a brush to spread the sauce to the edges.
  • Cook for another 3 minutes, until the eggplant is fork tender and the sauce is bubbling.
  • Serve hot.

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