Nesu Dengaku – Grilled Eggplant with Miso

Eggplant or aubergine is a vegetarian delight for its dense texture, a great alternative to “meat “. However, when cooked, it transform to a silky smooth texture. They remind me of men sometimes, macho looking outside but really a mushy teddy bear inside. I didn’t like the texture of this lovely purple fruit (yes its actually classified as a fruit!) when I was a child but has come to love it now.
However, this royal purple highness tends to absorb lots of oil when cooking. So here’s my healthier version. My recipe is adapted from an original Japanese recipe.

Nesu Dengaku - Grilled Eggplant with Miso


  • 2 Round Eggplants
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice (olive or coconut)
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tbsp red miso (alternatively use Chinese Fermented white Beancurd "Fuyu" or their sister red version)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sake or Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 spring onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds, optional


  1. Pre-heat oven at 180C or set a steamer on.
  2. For the glaze, mix all ingredients together and whisk until well blended.
  3. Halve the eggplant with the stalk on. Score eggplant.
  4. If using oven, place egg plant skin side down on a pan and drizzle with oil of choice. Roast for 30 minutes but turn the eggplant over after 20 minutes. If using steamer, drizzle with oil and place in steamer and steam for 20 minutes until soft.
  5. Remove from oven/ steamer (if using steamer, dispose of liquid).
  6. Heat up the broiler/top griller to 200 C.
  7. Brush the eggplant with the glaze. Place on a roasting pan, and grill for 5 minutes where the sides starts to char slightly and the glaze melts into the royal purple highness.
  8. Remove from grill. Before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds, spring onions and pomegranate seeds if using.

Additional Info

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