First Time Making: Miso Aubergines

I often have lunch at a small Japanese restaurant on Brewer Street called Kulu Kulu. In one of their colourful bowls, they serve this delicious aubergine dish. I like it so much that even after the first bowl, every time another one comes around on the conveyer belt, it’s so tempting to go for seconds! This vegan friendly dish is rather simple, but getting the right combination of flavours is not as simple (I learned the hard way) as it seems. I will try and share the learnings gleaned from my first attempt, for which I took inspiration from this Japan Centre recipe.

1 aubergine
160g hatcho red miso
4 tsp mirin rice wine
4 tbsp honey (but I suggest you try with sugar the first time)
4 tsp water
a sprinkle of sesame seeds
vegetable oil

Step 1 – Slice your aubergine in small cubes. Warm up some vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the cubes on a medium heat until they are evenly cooked. Please note that you don’t need salt at this stage, as your miso sauce will be salty enough.

Step 2 – In a separate pan, add the miso paste, the mirin wine, the honey and water. I used honey after looking around at other recipes that suggested this instead of sugar. Looking back, I feel that sugar will probably work better as it adds the sweetness without adding flavour to the already rich miso. Mix the ingredients so you have a uniform liquid, then put on the stove to cook on a medium heat. Keep mixing the miso so it doesn’t burn and keep cooking it till you reach a thick creamy consistency.

Step 3 – Once it’s thick enough, your sauce is ready to use. Mix it up with the aubergine and sprinkle some sesame seeds on the top before serving, alone or with a fish dish, like I did.

The result had mixed reactions – I felt the sauce was a little too rich to my taste and that perhaps added too much of it to the aubergine. My other half and friends loved it. Still, just in case they were being too nice, I would suggest you are moderate when mixing the sauce with your aubergines, perhaps making sure you try while you add the sauce gradually. I will definitely attempt this recipe again soon – let me know if you try it!


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