Delicious vegan recipe which I like to serve with crispy noodles and rice, or cauliflower puree in the winter for a lower carb alternative. The pickled cucumber is my quick go to relief from sweet and rich sauces as this one.
The original recipe is from the book "Mastering the art of Japanese home cooking" by Morimoto, which I highly recommend to anyone who likes Japanese flavors, and it features both eggplant and chicken.
For the sauce, combine in a metallic bowl:
Miso paste, preferably red, 60 ml (1/4 cup)
Sugar, 40 ml
Sake, 60 ml
Fit well on top of a pot with boiling water (take care so as not to allow the bottom of the bowl to come to contact with the water, you want it heating up only from the steam) and whisk well. Leave it to steam for 10 minutes stirring often during which time it will darken and thicken slightly). Remove from heat.
In a pan add enough oil to reach at least 1,5 cm height. Heat well and add:
Eggplant, 3 pcs, cut in 3 cm round pieces and scored with a sharp knife in a diagonal pattern on both sides.
Add the eggplant in batches so that each piece can comfortably fit in the oil and cook on each side until it turns into a golden color then flip and cook to the same point. Place on a tray. Remove most of the the remaining oil from the pan, leave just enough to thinly cover the surface. Turn heat down to medium (and allow the pan to cool of for a few minutes). Add the sauce to the pan, give it a few good swirls, and pour over eggplants. Serve with the side of your choice, and don't skip the pickle, it needs it:
Cucumber, cut in thin rounds using a mandolin if your knife skills are not so great, and soaked in vinegar of your choice for at least ten minutes and up to days. I always keep a jar of these in the fridge.