Combine 2 Tbsp sake, 2 Tbsp mirin, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 4 Tbsp miso in a saucepan. Mix well to combine and then bring to a gentle simmer over the lowest heat. Stir constantly and cook for 2-3 minutes. Make sure the miso doesn’t burn. When the miso has thickened, it’s ready to use. To Sore: You can put the miso in the airtight container and store the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks.
Use the miso glaze to slather on the foods you prepare below.
★ Tofu & Eggplant Dengaku
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC). Wrap the tofu with 2 sheets of paper towel and press the tofu between two plates for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave paper towel-wrapped tofu for 60-90 seconds to dehydrate. Once the tofu is dehydrated, cut it into small bite-size (any shape is ok), and the thickness should be about ¾ inch (1.5 cm).
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score it in a crisscross pattern. This will help the eggplant absorb more flavors. Immediately soak in water to prevent the eggplants from changing colors, and to remove the bitter taste. Drain and dry with a paper towel.
Place the tofu and eggplants (skin side down) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. With a brush, apply vegetable oil on top and bottom of tofu and eggplants. Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Adjust the oven rack 6-inches from the heating element and preheat the broiler for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, carefully spoon some of the Miso Dengaku Sauce onto your tofu and eggplants and spread evenly. Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until the top has nice char and caramelization. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
★ Daikon Dengaku
Peel the daikon and cut it into ¾ inch (1.5-2 cm) rounds (you can cut into half-moon shape if daikon is too big). Make a crisscross incision in the center (just one side – this will be the bottom side when serving), which helps absorb the seasonings. We call this technique “Kakushi Bocho”.
Place the daikon in the pan and cover with water. Ideally, instead of water, you want to use the rice-soaked water (the first white water that you throw away while washing rice). It’ll help daikon keep the pretty white color. Now bring to boil over high heat. Once boiling, cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
Drain the rice soaked water and put the daikon back in the pot. Cover the daikon with water, put the kombu, and bring to a boil. Right before boiling, remove and discard the kombu. Lower the heat to simmer and cook daikon for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer pierces through smoothly. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Pour a generous amount of Dengaku Miso and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve warm.
★ Konnyaku Dengaku
Cut the konnyaku into bite-size pieces and gently score each piece with a crisscross pattern on the top.
Bring water in a medium saucepan to boil and cook konnyaku for 3 minutes. Drain and allow to cool a little bit before stringing onto bamboo skewers. Slather a generous amount of Dengaku Miso on top and serve immediately.
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.