The Ingredients Are Below
Baby Eggplant: You can use any eggplant for this recipe, but baby eggplant tends to be a bit sweeter and easier to prep.
Sweet White Miso: I like to use sweet white miso in this recipe. Red miso and brown miso are a bit more pungent. It pairs wonderfully with the mirin and palm sugar and is the perfect amount of umami that soaks into the eggplant. You can find miso in most supermarkets near the tofu in any Asian market or organic market.
Hot Water: The hot water is needed to thin out the mirin with the other ingredients and is also used to cut the sugar content from the mirin and palm sugar, so the sauce is not too “tacky” and sticky. The water makes the sauce smooth and silky.
Mirin: This is fermented Japanese rice wine. It’s similar to sake but has a lower alcohol content and is much sweeter. It adds great depth of flavor and should be a staple in your pantry.
Palm Sugar: I like to use coconut palm sugar as my sweetening agent. This sugar has both a low glycemic index and low fructose levels. It contains antioxidants, minerals, is unrefined, and contains no chemical breakdown alterations or artificial ingredients. It is pure and simple!
Garlic: I like to use a Japanese mandolin to slice the garlic thinly. If you don’t own a mandolin, you can, of course, use a knife. The thinly sliced garlic allows me to make sure it is not burning in the sauté pan, and I love the texture that it adds to the eggplant.
Kosher Salt: Using a high-quality Kosher salt is an absolute MUST for cooking! It will provide a better final product!
Coconut Oil: I use coconut oil to sear the eggplant because it has a high smoking point and adds additional sweetness to the dish. I like to buy unrefined coconut oil that is less processed.
Scallions: Scallions add a nice touch of color to the dish and a little extra raw texture.
REMOVING EXCESS MOISTURE FROM THE EGGPLANT
- Eggplant is a naturally astringent vegetable. Salt helps extract excess water and opens the vegetable’s pores, making it sweeter and more adaptable to flavor.
- In French, this process is called degorge.
- The excess moisture develops on the outside of the eggplant, and then it needs to be patted dry before searing in the coconut oil.
- 3 lbs baby eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 tbsp sweet white miso
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup mirin
- 2 ½ tbsp palm sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Coconut oil
- Scallions for garnish
- Place the sliced eggplant on a tray and liberally season with salt. Reserve.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the white miso, hot water, mirin, and palm sugar.
- Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Heat a large sauté pan over moderate heat and coat with coconut oil.
- Allow the oil to glisten and place the eggplant in the pan flesh side down. Sear the eggplant for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the miso/mirin mixture and the sliced garlic and reduce the heat. Cover the pan and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until the eggplant is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Spoon the sauce over the eggplant and serve with scallion garnish.