You know how those shiny purple eggplants at the market look soooo tempting this time of year, so you can’t resist buying a few, but then you get them home and think, “What the heckin’ heck am I going to do with these?”
Well, I’m here to tell you, THIS. (And Dengaku sauce also delicious on chicken or pork, if eggplant isn’t your thing.)
Miso Grilling Sauce
Dengaku Sauce is one of those tasty toppings that makes even people who “don’t like Japanese food” beg for seconds. Everything from eggplant to slices of pork tenderloin to skewers of grilled chicken will disappear in record time if slathered in Dengaku.
(Also, it’s so easy to make, you can’t fail.)
6 Japanese eggplants (or one big European one)
Oil for searing
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
For Dengaku Sauce:
1/4 c. (120g) white miso, or 2 T. (60g) white miso mixed with 2 T. (60g) red miso*
2 T. (60ml) mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 T. (60ml) sake
2 T. (60g) sugar
Stir all together in a small saucepan until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from stove and set aside.
To prepare eggplant:
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Wipe eggplant dry with a paper towel, then put them in the hot pan, cut side down. Cover and let sear on medium heat for 1-3 minutes (check often to make sure they don’t burn). Remove from pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Heat oven to 500°F (broiler setting) and broil eggplant close to heat for 2-4 minutes, until sauce bubbles and caramelizes. Check every minute, because it burns easily. Move eggplant to serving plate and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
*White miso is sweet and red miso is salty. I make my Dengaku Sauce with all white miso, but if you mix it half and half with red miso, you’ll get a more savory sauce.
If you love a good read, you might enjoy The Last Tea Bowl Thief too
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist