The Best Miso Eggplant | The Zero F*cks Cookbook By Yumi Stynes
This is mind-blowingly delicious. You’ll want to watch the eggplant as it cooks though—there’s a moment that arrives after about 15 minutes when it kind of collapses. This is when it suddenly becomes luxuriously soft, hot and delicious. You don’t want to leave it on too long after that moment as it will get mushy, so watch for that. Also, try to choose eggplants that don’t have hard skin, as the ones that do tend to be the bitter ones. Serves 8 as a starter or 4 as a main. Cooking time: 25 minutes | Prep time: 5 minutes.
4 medium eggplants, halved lengthways
60ml peanut, canola or olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sakè
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white miso paste
Preheat the barbecue to medium–hot (not a raging-inferno-of hell hot).
To make the glaze, mix all the ingredients together in a small jar or bowl.
Score neat criss-crosses no more than 5mm deep into the cut side of the eggplant, then lightly brush all over with the oil.
Place the eggplants, skin side down, on the chargrill plate of the barbecue, close the hood and cook for eight minutes, then turn the eggplant halves onto the cut side and cook for a further eight minutes with the hood closed.
Flip the eggplants one last time, brush the cut side with the glaze and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cook for a final 3–5 minutes, or until looking glossy, charred and much smaller than when you started. Serve hot, eat with a knife and fork and don’t be afraid to eat the skin—that’s the best bit.
If your barbecue doesn’t have a lid, cover the eggplants with a baking tray.
Leftovers are delicious squished into a tortilla with cheese and grilled (broiled).
Sometimes I make double the glaze to have some on standby. It will last two weeks in the fridge, so you can prepare it well in advance of your barbecue, if you like.
Recipe — The Zero F*cks Cookbook By Yumi Stynes Photography — Chris Chen