Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:59 PM
Nasu no karashi miso ni: Eggplant with mustard miso
One of my favorite Japanese dishes, ever since I first started exploring Japanese cooking, was nasu no miso ni, a simple eggplant dish with miso. As I've mentioned before, there are probably as many variations on that dish as there are mothers in Japan.
This is one of mine. Pan-grilled deep-purple mini eggplant, cooked with a little tea seed oil, somehow became magically bright purple after a couple of minutes of heat
Normally I'd just add mirin, sugar, a bit of dashijiru and miso, but this time I also added a bit of mustard and a splash of vinegar. As the dish simmers, the sauce thickens up and some of it is absorbed by the eggplant.
I'd call this variation nasu no karashi miso ni.
I liked this style... It is a bit like serving konnyaku or tofu with sumiso (also a mustard and vinegar seasoned miso), except warm. It's a surprisingly delightful way to bring the flavor out of the eggplant.
Like most versions of nasu no miso ni, it looks best on right after cooking, but the leftovers taste even better after they've rested for a night or so in the refrigerator.
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