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"Gilded" Nasu no Miso Dengaku

Though it looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, this was totally yummy. Since I am not eating much meat these days, my unconscious (until now) goal seems to be to stuff as many vegetables as possible into various tried and true dishes.

Nasu no Miso Dengaku (Miso Eggplant) is delicious in its own right, served with steamed rice and maybe a small salad and variety of pickles on the side. Having indulged in scallion pancakes earlier in the day, I was not in the mood for rice and gilded the lily (hence the title of this recipe) by adding various vegetables to the original recipe.

1/2 a regular globe eggplant or a whole large Chinese one

2 cups assorted vegetables (I used a mix of sliced white onion, green onion, red pepper, Cubanelle pepper, rainbow chard and kale, but use whatever you have to hand in the hydrator)

1 Tbsp red miso paste

1 tsp sake

1 tsp mirin

1/4 tsp sugar

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp black vinegar

Halve the eggplant and reserve one half for future use. Score the half you plan on using deeply and place it, cut side down, in a steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam for ten minutes.

While the eggplant is steaming, stir fry the vegetables. To do so, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and add all of the vegetables as soon as it is shimmering. Cook, stirring often for about five minutes, until the vegetables are tender but still have some give. Stir in the soy sauce and the black vinegar. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the miso, sake, mirin and sugar. Whisk into a cohesive paste and set aside.

By this time, the eggplant should be cooked. Check that it is ready by using a pair of kitchen tongs to gently squeeze the eggplant -- if it gives under the pressure then it is cooked. If not, steam it a few additional minutes.

Turn the oven to broil. Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper and place the steamed eggplant, this time cut side up, on the tray.

Top with all of the vegetables and then spoon the miso mixture over the top.

Place under the broiler for about three and a half minutes until the miso is set and beginning to char around the edges.

Inspiration recipe, here.


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