Nobu's Den Miso with Broiled Eggplant

Summer is the worst time to cook, but I have so many recipes in my Evernote folders and my Pinterest boards so this is the down time for me. I think this is a fabulous fall or winter recipe, but with a cold Kirin, it's still good in the summer and it can be eaten cold on salad for lunch.

Find the original recipe here. Besides cooking the sauce on eggplant, it's a good dipping sauce for fried tofu, tossed with blanched green beans, and used as a dipping sauce for boiled tako (octopus). Keep the extras in the refrigerator.

Den Miso:
  •  1 1/2 cups white miso 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 3/4 cup sake 
  • 3/4 cup mirin 
Combine miso and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add sake and mirin, whisking to combine. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and color begins to darken, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat.

Den Miso with Nasubi (eggplant)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying 
  • 4 Japanese eggplants (about 6 ounces each), halved lengthwise and skin scored in a crosshatch pattern 
  • 1 cup Nobu's Den Miso 
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds 
  • Pickled ginger and plums, for garnish (optional) 
 Heat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat about 2 inches of oil to 360 degrees. Working in batches, place eggplants in pan, skin side up, and fry 1 minute. Turn and fry 30 seconds more. Transfer eggplants to baking sheet and let drain. 

 Transfer eggplants, skin side down, to an unlined baking sheet. Spread each half with slightly more than 1 tablespoon miso. Broil until miso begins to darken and caramelize, about 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with pickled ginger and plums.


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