Miso Pork and Eggplant Stir-Fry is a deliciously easy weeknight meal of tender pork and eggplant soaked in a savory miso sauce.
Miso Pork and Eggplant Stir Fry (豚肉とナスの味噌炒め) is one of my go-to recipes when I have eggplants in my kitchen. I love the eggplants when they soak up all the delicious savory flavors, especially with miso and soy sauce-based sauce. When served over a bowl of steamed rice, the dish makes a satisfying dinner with affordable ingredients and is loaded with nutrition.
3 Best Ingredient Combo – Miso Pork and Eggplant Stir Fry
The combination of miso and eggplant is fail-proof, and by adding pork, you get a robust and hearty stir-fry dish. If you use miso regularly, you’d agree that it makes an all-rounded seasoning that works with any protein, but my choice is always pork when I cook miso with eggplant. The absorbency of the eggplant and the sweet bold flavor of pork, when paired hand-in-hand, is one that you can rely on in various preparations. As a result, you get tender juicy pork, creamy eggplant, and a flavorful sauce that holds everything together. It’s a combination that works. Another delicious example you may want to try is this Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant.
I used Japanese eggplant in the recipe. Japanese eggplant has a slender body and is more tender than other varieties. Since it cooks up quickly, it is the best choice for stir-frying and many other Japanese dishes. You can still substitute it with Chinese eggplant or another variety that you can find locally in your market. They are the freshest when they are in season.
Benefits of Cooking with Miso & Which Miso to Use
One of the most obvious uses for miso is in soup, but this fermented soybean paste has a lot more to offer. In Japanese cooking, you can find miso being utilized in marinades, vinaigrettes, and as a sauce to turn a plain dish into something incredibly flavorful. Not only it is a versatile seasoning for everyday dishes, it is also a mighty probiotic that offers many health benefits and essential minerals, and it is especially good for gut health.
If you’re new to Just One Cookbook, here are just some of the recipes featuring this all-purpose seasoning:
- Miso Yaki Onigiri
- Spicy Edamame
- Vegetable Miso Soup
- Miso Ginger Pork
- Spring Mix Salad with Sweet Miso Dressing
I’ve been cooking a lot of miso recipes this year using Hikari Miso, my favorite miso brand which I’m honored to partner with. Hikari Miso carries various types of miso that are organic and non-GMO. For this recipe, I’ve used Hikari Miso® Organic Miso – Red Miso, but you can use other types of miso to try out different flavors. You can purchase Hikari Miso from a majority of Japanese/Asian grocery stores or on Amazon.
Adaptation for Miso Pork and Eggplant Stir Fry
Instead of meat, you can add tofu or deep-fried tofu such as Aburaage (deep-fried tofu pouch – no white tofu part) or Atsuage (thick deep-fried tofu with inside white and brown skin. You can find this variety at Asian grocery stores).
You can also keep it simple by using more eggplant. You can toss in other vegetables like zucchini if you like. Just remember that the cooking time will vary and the flavor profile may taste slightly different.
Some miso may contain dashi (it displays as だし入り “dashi included”) for your convenience to make miso soup instantly by adding miso into the water. Typically dashi is made of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) so if you plan to make vegetarian/vegan-friendly meals, make sure to pick miso that does not include dashi.
Give Some Spice
If you enjoy spicy food, I highly recommend adding a few teaspoons of Doubanjiang (chili bean paste) to your liking. If you enjoy just a little bit of spice like me, sprinkle some ichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) or shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice).
Comfort Food at Its Best
Although the stir-fry dish is not particularly exciting looking, it’s truly comfort food, which is why I like to serve it over steamed rice. This one-bowl rice dish or what we call donburi, is a really easy weeknight meal for busy moms, singles, and students. Enjoy it with miso soup and a simple bowl of salad or green vegetable dish like Spinach Gomaae!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
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Miso Pork and Eggplant Stir Fry
- 2 Japanese or Chinese eggplant (or 1 globe eggplant)
- 1 Tokyo negi (naga negi; long green onion) (use white part only; or use several green onions)
- 1 green onion/scallion (for garnish)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 knob ginger
- 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
- ¼ lb thinly sliced pork
To Serve as Rice Bowl (Optional)
- 2 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- Gather all the ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp miso, 1-2 tsp granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp mirin, and 1 Tbsp sake and mix all together until miso is completely dissolved.
- Add 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 Tbsp water. Mix well and set aside.
- Cut the eggplants into bite-size pieces. I use "Rangiri" cutting technique to increase the surface so it cooks evenly and adds more flavor. Soak the eggplants in water to prevent the color from changing.
- Cut the white part of the negi (leek/green onion) diagonally. Cut the green parts of the green onion diagonally and keep it for garnish.
- Slice the garlic clove and ginger thinly.
- Add the oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant.
- Add the white part of negi and pork.
- Stir fry until the pork is almost cooked through (80%). Then add the eggplant and stir fry until it becomes slightly tender.
- Add the sauce and lower the heat to medium-low heat.
- Cook covered for 5 minutes. If there is not enough liquid/steam, add 1 Tbsp water.
- When the eggplant is tender, turn off the heat and serve the stir fry over steamed rice. Garnish with sliced green onion on top.