This is one of my favourite ways to cook aubergines, miso-glazed aubergines roasted until they are so tender they'll melt in your mouth. The miso is cooked until it has bubbled up and caramelized, giving this dish an incredible umami flavor!
Nasu Dengaku is a traditional Japanese dish. Japanese aubergines (eggplants), which are narrow compared to European aubergines, are covered in a sweet and savoury miso sauce and cooked until they are very tender. Traditionally these are made to celebrate the Spring rice planting season and are served as a starter or side dish.
My version is inspired by the classic dish but does not include sake and uses honey instead of sugar. It is perfect as a side dish, as a starter, for lunch or a light dinner. When we have this for dinner, I usually serve it with steamed broccoli and rice and it is a delicious way to enjoy aubergines.
🛒 What You'll Need
- Aubergines - you will need 2 large aubergines (eggplants). Look for aubergines that feel heavy in your hand, a sign that the flesh is fresh and in good condition. Make sure that the skin is bright, smooth and shiny. The aubergine stems should be green, not brown and there should not be any signs of mold or decay. The aubergines should be firm to the touch but not be too soft. If it feels very soft, that means that the aubergine. is old and overripe.
- Miso - I use white miso paste for this recipe. You can also use brown miso or red miso paste if you prefer. White miso is milder so if great if it's your first time trying miso! The colour of miso is a good guide to the strength of flavour it has, the darker the miso the stronger it will taste, and the lighter it is the milder it will taste.
- Sauces - You will also need mirin, sesame oil, vegetable oil and honey.
- Other ingredients needed - are white sesame seeds, and spring onions.
🔪 How To Make Miso-Glazed Aubergine
Please see the recipe card below for full instructions and the ingredient list.
1. Heat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. I also trim off the tops of the aubergines. Use a sharp knife, to lightly score the flesh of the aubergines in a criss-cross pattern or diamond pattern. Then brush the aubergine halves with vegetable oil and place them flesh side up on the baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
2. While the aubergines are cooking, make the miso sauce. Add the miso to a small bowl, then add a splash of hot water to loosen it up. Then whisk in the sesame oil, mirin and honey until you have a thick sauce.
3. After cooking the aubergines for 10 minutes take them out of the oven and brush the aubergine flesh generously with the miso sauce. Return the aubergines to the oven and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. The aubergines should be dark golden brown and sticky and the flesh should be very soft.
4. Finally, drizzle those meaty aubergines with sesame oil then scatter some white sesame seeds and chopped spring onions over the aubergines. Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli for a tasty lunch.
🔪 Top Tips
- Cooking the aubergines in the oven first will give the aubergines some colour but also start cooking the aubergine flesh. It should be nice and soft by the time it's finished.
- If your aubergines are very round you can cut a little off of the cheek to help it sit flat on the baking tray.
- The miso paste should be thick and not too thin, you want it to be nice and sticky when it's done.
- If you have leftover sauce then use it to marinate some tofu, just cut some extra form tofu into cubes then add to a bowl. Add the sauce to the tofu and toss the tofu into the sauce, leave for 30 minutes then either bake or fry the tofu.
- If you would like to make this vegan simply swap the honey for maple syrup.
- If you have sake then you can add 1 tablespoon to the miso paste for a traditional version of this dish.
- For an extra special version of this, use red miso for one aubergine then white miso for the other. You could also alternate between white and black sesame seeds. This would be great as a starter for a dinner party!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
- As a starter - serve on its own topped with white sesame seeds, chopped spring onions or finely chopped chives.
- This is a classic Japanese side dish so for a delicious side dish serve it with your favourite Japanese inspired recipes or try it with my Tofu Katsu Curry.
- We love this as a main meal and will have it for lunch or dinner. If we have this for dinner then I serve it with white or brown rice or sushi rice and steamed broccoli, tenderstem broccoli or my sesame air fryer broccoli. It's also great with steamed or fried bok choy.
You can eat the skin if you like. However, if the aubergine is on the larger side the skin may be on the tough side.
Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. They will keep for 3 days. For best results, I reheat these in the oven. Place the aubergines in a casserole dish and cover with foil, cook for about 30 minutes or until the aubergine is piping hot.
No, you do not need to salt aubergines. Aubergine used to be salted to reduce bitterness, since the modern variety of aubergines we have now is less bitter we do not need to salt them. However, as aubergines soak up so much oil it is recommended to salt them if you plan to fry the aubergines.
🍴 More Tasty Recipes
- Miso Glazed Tofu - This delicious tofu and noodle dish is a super easy veggie dinner. Perfect for busy weeknights.
- Teriyaki Tofu - Another Japanese-inspired dish that always goes down so well with the whole family!
- Peanut Butter Veggie Stir Fry - This vegan peanut butter stir fry with crunchy vegetables is ready in under 30 minutes! Great for a tasty lunch or dinner, it's packed with veggies and tastes amazing!
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Miso Aubergine Recipe
- 2 large aubergines stem trimmed off and cut in half lengthways
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil I used sunflower oil
- 50 g / 2 heaped tablespoon of miso paste I used white miso
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 3-4 spring onions finely sliced
- Heat the oven to 180°C (355°F).Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.Trim the stem from the aubergines then cut them in half lengthways.Using a sharp knife lightly score the flesh of the aubergines in a crisscross pattern.Brush the flesh of the aubergine with oil then roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the miso sauce.Add the miso paste to a small bowl and add a splash of hot water to loosen it up.Then whisk in 2 tablespoons of mirin, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. The sauce should be thick but silky.
- Now, take the aubergines out of the oven and brush the sauce generously over the flesh of each aubergine half.Return the aubergines to the oven and cook for 30 minutes until they are soft and they miso has bubbled up and caramelised. You may need to adjust the time depending on the size of your aubergines.I always turn the tray around halfway through cooking to ensure they are evenly cooked.
- Once ready transfer the aubergines to a serving dish or plate. Drissle a little sesame oil over the aubergines then sprinkle over the white sesame seeds and the chopped spring onions.If you are having this as a main meal serve with white rice and steamed broccoli.
- Storage - Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container and stored in the fridge. They should be consumed within 3 days.
- Nutritional Information - All nutritional information shared is an estimate based on third-party calculations. If calorie count and/or nutritional values are important to you, we recommend putting the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on which brands were used. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for the best results.