Miso Aubergine (Nasu Dengaku) gets is name from the Japanese spring rice planting celebrations, where dengaku performers play stilt games and various miso dishes are served on pairs of skewers meant to resemble the stilts. There are many variations for the sweet sticky miso sauce, this one I managed to squeeze out of the chef from my favourite sushi restaurant in London’s west end. The sugar balances out the sharpness of the miso paste, however I’ve added a little less sugar than you normally see in recipes of this kind, as often they are overly sweet and with mirin being sweetened rice wine there is no real need for all the extra sugar.
Miso Aubergine (Nasu Dengaku)
80g red miso*
2 tsp mirin
1 and 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1. Cut aubergine into medium sized cubes and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 10 minutes to sweat. Wash aubergine and pat dry.
2. Heat a small saucepan with 2cm of oil, when hot fry aubergine cubes in batches, turning during cooking, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
3. In another small saucepan mix miso, mirin, sugar and water, heat gently being careful not to burn.
4. Mix hot miso sauce gently with aubergine pieces and serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
*White miso can be used instead of red. Only add 1 tsp of sugar with this.
By frying in hot oil the aubergine becomes extremely soft and tender, soaking up all the miso sauce. Its works as a lovely side to sushi, katsu chicken, rice, or any other Japanese dish. Also great on its own as a light meal. Eat with soy sauce and pickled ginger for added flavour.