Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Miso-Sesame Grilled Aubergines (Eggplants)

Aubergines, Japanese style!

Great vegetarian main or side dish – even my children loved it  and scoffed the lot, which surprised me as one of them is not too keen on aubergine! Goes well with some form of pickles, or acidic salad (e.g. my Japanese Pickles, Cucumber-Radish Pickles, Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed Salad (Sunomono)) on the side, as it’s quite rich-tasting.


Serves 2 as a main dish or four as a side dish; 88 calories per serving (aubergine half) as a side dish, 174 calories per serving for a main course.
2 aubergines (eggplants - approximately 250g each) [100]
16 sprays oil or 1/2 tbsp oil applied with a brush (sprays from a pump action, e.g. Bertolli style - I refill mine with my oil of choice) [64]
4 tbsp miso paste (light to medium - check ingredients if cooking gluten free: Clearspring does a GF organic sweet white miso paste, but most aren't) [48]
2 tbsp mirin (or if you don't want to use mirin, you could use 1 level tbsp raw honey - e.g. for paleo - or agave, and a tbsp water) [68]
2 tbsp lemon juice [8]
1 tsp caster sugar (preferably golden unrefined - or use extra honey/agave if you prefer) [16]
2 tsp sesame seeds (white or black) [38]
2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal [6]

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan180C/Gas mark 4.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise, through the stalk to the bottom. Score the aubergine halves (on the cut side) with deep, diagonal cuts about 1cm apart, in a cross hatch pattern – but not right down to the skin.
Spray or brush on both sides with the oil, season very lightly with salt, and place in the oven in a dish, cut side up for 20-30 minutes (or longer if needed - especially if they are on the large side) until tender and cooked through - if you want a more tender skin, you can put into a dish where they will fit quite snugly with a tbsp or so of water in the bottom.

Meanwhile, mix together the miso paste, mirin, lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Remove the aubergine from the oven when it's tender enough to eat, and pre-heat the grill (USA broiler) to high. Spoon the miso mixture over the aubergines, and make sure each half is evenly covered. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and put under the grill for a few minutes until golden. Serve scattered with the spring onions.


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