Baked and broiled in the oven, this Miso-Glazed Eggplant is easily the dream dish of any eggplant lover! The eggplant pieces are nicely caramelized on the edges yet so creamy in the middle. It's a satisfying vegan dish that you can make in 30 minutes.
1green onion/scallion(I used 2 stalks since they are very thin and small)
5shiso leaves (perilla/ooba)(optional; no similar substitutes since eggplant, shiso, and miso are the golden combo! You can find shiso at a Japanese grocery store)
Gather all the ingredients. Set the oven rack in the center of the oven about 7 inches (18 cm) away from the heating element. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). For a convection oven, reduce the cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
To Make the Sweet Miso Glaze
In a small bowl, combine the miso and sugar. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the mirin and gradually add the sake to your preferred consistency (some miso might be chunkier than others). Mix well and set aside.
To Prepare the Eggplants
Cut off the stem and calyx of the eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise from the stem to the tip, creating boat-like halves. If your eggplants are long, you can cut them in half crosswise.
With the knife, score the eggplant flesh diagonally in one direction and then the other, about ⅛ inch (3 mm) deep and ⅛ inch (3 mm) wide, in a crisscross pattern on the open surface. This crisscross scoring helps cook the eggplants faster and improves the presentation.
Soak the eggplants in water for 10 minutes to remove the astringency. Blot the eggplants with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the eggplant flesh with the sesame oil. Turn the eggplants over so they are cut side down on the baking sheet.
Bake the eggplants at 425ºF (220ºC) for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the green onion into thin rounds.
Roll up the shiso leaves and cut them into julienned strips.
After 15 minutes, check that the eggplant skin is beginning to shrivel and the flesh is soft. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Now, change the oven setting and preheat the broiler. Keep the oven rack in the center of the oven, roughly 7 inches (18 cm) away from the heating element.
Carefully turn the eggplants over and brush them with enough sweet miso glaze to coat the surface completely. Depending on the size of your eggplants, you may have glaze leftover. The original recipe makes enough glaze for 3 large or 5 medium eggplants. You can freeze it for later or use it to dip veggies for snacks.
Place the eggplants under the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the glaze begins to bubble, and remove from the broiler. Please note that the cooking time varies based on how far away you place the baking sheet from the heating element.
Sprinkle the baked eggplants with the sesame seeds, sliced green onions, and shiso leaves. Serve immediately.
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.