Shichimi Togarashi is an excellent complement to the traditional Japanese pantry ingredients of mirin, miso, sesame and rice wine vinegar. I love eggplant, but I wanted a little variety from the Italian preparations with tomato and cheese. (Make no mistake, I still love eggplant with tomato and cheese!) But this eggplant recipe has plenty of umami and a spicy kick from the Togarashi. Recipe adapted just slightly from One Hungry Mama.
Serves 4 as a side dish
5 small Japanese eggplants, tops trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
sesame oil for brushing
1/2 cup white miso
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
chopped cilantro, for garnish
Shichimi Togarashi for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Score the cut side of the eggplant with deep criss-cross cuts. Brush the eggplant pieces with sesame oil, including the skin side.
Place eggplant on a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together miso, sugar, mirin, vinegar and lemon juice. Heat until the mixture starts to boil.
After the eggplant is done baking, switch to broil. Brush the cut side of the eggplant with the miso mixture and broil for about 4-6 minutes, until the sauce caramelizes. Garnish with cilantro and Shichimi Togarashi.