This Stir Fry Miso Eggplant is a gorgeous combination of flavors! Serve it as a main or as a side dish with any Asian meal on a busy weeknight. Only basic pantry ingredients needed for this quick yet satisfying recipe.
Quick stir fry dishes are perfect for a busy weeknight. I used eggplants today, but the stir-fries are so versatile and you can pretty much use whatever lingering ingredients you have in your fridge. Ready to make this quick meal in just 20 minutes? Let’s go!
Eggplant and miso are a match in heaven and always the golden combination known by cooks in Japan.
When eggplants are cooked till tender, they absorb like a sponge, sucking up all the delicious seasonings. So if you’re looking for a bold, savory dish that goes well with rice, pick eggplant.
I disliked eggplants growing up and always wondered why my mom cooked this vegetable so often. Now that I’m a mom, I’m doing the exact same. My kids are asking why I always cook eggplant dishes. Well, they haven’t developed the appreciation yet, but I know the days will come:) Eggplants are delicious especially when it’s cooked right!
If you can’t find Japanese/Chinese long eggplant, you can use a globe (American) eggplant, but the key is to keep the skin attached so that eggplant doesn’t lose its shape during stir-frying. The globe eggplant has a glossy and thicker skin than Japanese/Chinese eggplant but it should still work.
Easy Miso Sauce
There is no special condiments necessary for this everyday dish. Basic Japanese condiments are all you need.
- Miso… more about it below
- Soy sauce… a bit of umami instead of salt
- Grated ginger for the zing!
Type of Miso to Use
The miso I used today is Enjuku Koji Miso from Hikari Miso. I’ve been using different miso products from this company and I’m really happy with their quality. We liked their miso so much that we even visited their factory in Nagano, Japan!
Enjuku Koji Miso is their long-selling product for over 20 years since its introduction in 1993. The preservative-free miso features a mild flavor and rich fragrance incorporated with natural sweetness and robust umami of koji.
Where to Get This Miso
You can find this miso along with other Hikari Miso products in Japanese/Asian grocery stores.
There is nothing that is quite similar to miso. You may wonder about Doenjang, a Korean soybean paste.
Unfortunately, miso and doenjang are made differently. Doenjang is not fermented with rice or other grains (source), and it has a stronger and deeper flavor while miso is milder, smoother, and sweeter due to koji culture.
If you can’t find this specific miso, then use the miso you have at your local store. Just a few tips:
- Dashi-included miso tends to be saltier, so you have to remember to use less or adjust saltiness.
- White miso is lighter, sweeter, and less salty due to a shorter period of fermentation. Red miso is stronger and saltier.
- Each brand of miso has different saltiness, so adjust accordingly.
- There is no “right” miso for this recipe. Different miso, different variation (it’s part of the fun!).
Quick Stir Fry Tip
Are you new to stir fry? Here are some tips you may find useful.
- No wok? Don’t worry! – I use a carbon steel frying pan. Just like my wok, this pan has built up a natural patina and become non-stick over time. It can hold heat better and sear food better than a nonstick pan.
- Don’t be shy on oil – A good amount oil is needed for keeping the wok/ pan hot for stir frying and ensure the eggplants don’t stick.
- Add seasonings last – The sauce, especially miso burns quickly; therefore, assume that you won’t be “cooking” the ingredients after you add the sauce.
- Shake the pan while stir frying – Keep the ingredients moving by shaking the pan.
For more easy and delicious stir fry recipes, here are some of my favorites:
- Stir Fry Vegetables (Yasai Itame)
- Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (Ebi Cili)
- Kabocha Pork Stir Fry
- Japanese Lotus Root Stir Fry
Stir Fry Miso Eggplant
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Prepare Ingredients
- Cut the eggplants into bite-size pieces. I highly recommend the Japanese “rangiri” cutting technique, which allows the eggplants to have more surface to cook faster and absorb flavors.
- Soak the eggplants in water to remove astringency and prevent its color from changing. Cut the green onions into thin slices.
- Grate ginger (I use this grater). You’ll need about ½ tsp grated ginger.
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the miso sauce. Add in grated ginger and mix well together.
To Cook Eggplants
- Drain the eggplants and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
- When it’s hot, add both cooking and sesame oils and distribute them in the pan. When the oil is hot, add eggplant.
- Cook the eggplants on medium heat, flipping them when the bottom side is brown.
- When the eggplants are nicely brown, add the miso sauce and coat them with the sauce by shaking the frying pan.
- You may want to flip the eggplants to make sure the pieces are well coated. When the liquid is evaporated, remove the pan from the heat immediately as miso gets burnt easily.
- Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with green onion.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a month.