Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku)

by | Sep 4, 2018 | 27 comments

A super delicious, quick and vegan recipe for a traditional Nasu Dengaku - Miso Glazed And Roasted Eggplant. If you are a fan of eggplant and especially love it charred with a sweet and salty dressing, this is the only recipe you will ever need!

Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe #foodphotography

How I got hooked onto eating Miso Glazed Roast Eggplant!

Many years ago when we first moved to Australia from Singapore, I was on a Japanese food bender. I trawled every weekend market for the perfect Okonomiyaki and sat at many sushi trains sampling as many Agedashi Tofus, Sashimis, Inari and Nigiris as I could. But I never tried Nasu Dengaku, until one fine day when Hayden Quinn came over to my (then tiny) kitchen for a cooking and filming session. I cannot remember what I cooked, but the memory of Hayden's Miso Glazed Eggplant that he cooked that day is still fresh in my mind.

 

It was simply the most divine eggplant dish I had ever had and what affected me the most was how simple it was to cook it. I remember it took nearly an hour and a half to cook in my extremely temperamental, primitive, 20-year-old oven. I remember Hayden checking every few minutes, literally willing it to cook faster. Because it is actually a really quick recipe. So of course when my spunky new kitchen was installed a few years later and a shiny oven awaited, this Miso Glazed Eggplant was one of the first dishes I tested in it. And it only took thirty minutes to cook. Phew!

 

Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe #foodphotography Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe #foodphotography

 

Miso Glazed Eggplant or Nasu Dengaku as it is traditionally known, is a Japanese eggplant dish made of grilled eggplant glazed with a thick miso sauce. There are many vegan and non-vegan versions out there sporting a myriad of eggplant varieties. But this recipe I share today which I have been cooking for nearly five years is not only the most delicious and flavour packed but also the most good looking.

 

Some tips on making the best Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant

 

If you google Miso Glazed Eggplant, you will find all kinds of pictures. Some really pretty, but most quite unappetising (although I am sure they would taste delicious). Because this is such a fantastic plant-based recipe, vegan and gluten free friendly and possibly a great dinner party dish; I wanted it to look great as well. So after testing with many different sized eggplants and sauces, these were my takeaways -

A. Use medium-sized black plump eggplants. Not the thin Lebanese eggplants or the tiny Thai eggplants but a medium-sized black eggplant that you would use to roast for Baba Ghanoush. These eggplants are often called Black Globe or Black Beauty or as in my supermarket/farmer's market - eggplant.

B. Salt makes eggplant cry. The salting process is very important in eggplant dishes where you want the end result to be firm and delicious, not wet and sloppy. After scoring the eggplant as shown in the pictures, always salt it. You can do this by rubbing a small pinch of salt over the cut side of the eggplants and leaving them for about 30 minutes. The water (which won't be a lot) can be mopped up with paper towels.

C. Temperature and cooking times are very important. So make sure you follow them. The cooked texture of eggplant has to be silky and succulent but still firm.

D. Always glaze the eggplant with the miso sauce again after baking and just before serving. This looks amazing on the browned caramelised eggplant and also adds an extra flavour kick. Serve the leftover sauce on the side for anyone wanting an even more boost on their eggplant.

E. The garnishes really make the eggplant pop. Especially micro herbs (the purple of shiso) and the white sesame seeds.

 

Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe #foodphotography

Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe #foodphotography

Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe

 

This dish is a great starter before dinner. Alternatively, with the addition of coconut-matcha rice, some quick pickled radishes and greens; it becomes a very satisfying lunch. If you make this recipe, I would love to see your feedback and rating in the comments below. Share your eggplant pictures with me on Instagram using #cookrepublic

 

 

Vegan Miso Glazed Eggplant - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree #healthyrecipe #foodphotography

VEGAN MISO GLAZED EGGPLANT (NASU DENGAKU)

4.94 from 15 votes
adapted from Hayden Quinn's Dish It Up tested - 10+ times
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Author: Sneh
Course // Dinner, Mains
Cuisine // Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized black eggplants
  • generous pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sake
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Shiaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 80 g white miso paste
  • white and black sesame seeds, finely sliced chives, micro herb - to garnish

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 200°C (convection)/180°C (fan-forced).
  • Wash the eggplants and pat dry. Cut the eggplants in half, length wise.
  • Using a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern in the flesh of the eggplant as shown in the pictures.
  • Place the eggplants cut side up in a shallow rimmed baking tray.
  • Sprinkle with salt and gently rub the salt over the flesh.
  • Rest for 30 minutes.
  • Using a paper towel, pat the flesh of the eggplant and blot the water droplets that have formed on the surface. Brush off any salt flakes that remain.
  • Place mirin, sake, Shiaoxing wine, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and miso paste in a small heavy bottomed saucepan on medium. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Using a pastry brush, generously brush the miso sauce over the cut side of the eggplants.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes until starting to brown and tender.
  • Remove from the oven. Brush more miso sauce to glaze the eggplants. Scatter chives and micro herbs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot with coconut rice and radish pickles.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic

 

 

 

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SNEH

I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!

COMMENTS

27 Comments
  1. Ellie

    Sounds so delicious, and easy. One of my favourite dishes at our local Japanese restaurant- I’m going to make this at home now. I’ve tried it a couple of times, but it’s never quite worked :: I’m guessing your recipe will change all that!

    Just wondering - is the wine necessary? Or can I substitute with something else?

    Thank you, Ellie @petalplum

    Reply
    • Sneh

      Hey Ellie. Hope this recipe is a winner for you. The Shiaoxing wine just adds that delicate sweetness and an extra kick. You don’t have to add it, if you don’t want to. Substitute with the same quantity of veg stock or even plain water to give the sauce the right consistency. x

      Reply
  2. The Napoli Alert

    This looks great - definitely going to try this for my husband.

    Reply
  3. Irene

    5 stars
    Made this tonight with some beautifully shaped eggplant I found at the market- delicious and simple and they look so lovely! Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Pat @ Wholesome Kitchen

    This looks so yummy and healthy! Thanks, Sneh!

    Reply
  5. Kayane

    5 stars
    I cooked this tonight and followed the instructions to a T and it was perfection! I had a recipe I tried previously which didn't have the salting process and the texture of the eggplant was not nearly as good. So easy and quick as well. Thank you Sneh!

    Reply
  6. Eha

    5 stars
    Can't wait to make ! Love eggplant: often stuff it with itself and other vegetables Charmaine Solomon style, but this very simple recipe attracted me at first read and I cannot wait to try . . . .thanks!

    Reply
  7. Isadora Guidoni

    5 stars
    Eggplant is quite a popular ingredient with vegan recipes, right? I'm not really a fan of it, but I'll give it a try.

    Reply
  8. Stacy

    This looks so delicious, going to make it for dinner tonight! Do you have a recipe for the coconut rice? Thanks Stacy

    Reply
  9. Monica

    5 stars
    Eggplant is my favourite and I just love the combination of Shaoxing and miso. Great recipe!

    Reply
  10. Lucinda

    5 stars
    Great recipe! My new favourite vegetarian meal.

    Reply
  11. Maria

    5 stars
    Has anyone tried making this on the BBQ grill?

    Reply
  12. Jules

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for this tasty recipe! Made it last night; we couldn’t get sake at short notice so used extra Shaoxing wine, which was fine. We love ginger so had about 2tsp, and really enjoyed the extra kick. Next time I’ll wrap the aubergines in cooking paper for the first 20 mins, then cook uncovered for a bit, just to get the right consistency and save the skin from becoming tough.
    I was out of desiccated coconut so just mixed creamed coconut (~1Tbsp pp) and a little mirin into the rice. Yummy!

    Reply
  13. Mariana

    5 stars
    You have inspired me to have my own website for recipes ,this nasu dengaku it really has brought everything back of what I know it’s perfection in taste ! Can’t go wrong ! Thank you ! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Elizabeth

    5 stars
    Tried it tonight. Looked great. Delicious and unusual. My husband loved it also. Served it with coconut rice and spinach and the radishes, thank you...great entree for vegans.

    Reply
  15. Divinna

    5 stars
    Hi Sneh,
    Can't wait to try out this recipe tonight! I was wondering what's the equivalent of 80g of miso paste if I am to measure it using a cup? I don't have a cooking scale unfortunately.

    Reply
    • Sneh

      Hi Divinna, it would be approximately 1/4 cup. Cheers!

      Reply
  16. Iris

    Hi Sneh!

    This recipe looks and sounds so good and I really would love to try it, but... what can I substitute for the alcohol containing things, like the wine and sake? Would something like fermented breaddrink work or waterkefir or kombucha?

    Thank you in advance!

    Iris

    Reply
    • Sneh

      Hi Iris, you could try a bit of kombucha with a teaspoon of sugar to mimic the wine. Or you could just substitute with really good strong veggie stock, a bit of nutritional yeast and a dash of sugar. Cheers!

      Reply
  17. Diya

    5 stars
    I am so excited to have discovered this recipe! It is SO GOOD and has the best umami flavor as described in the recipe. I have now used the same method and glaze on zuchinni too and it is just as delicious. Great for the vegans and non-vegans in the family too. All-around winner!

    Reply
  18. Steph K

    5 stars
    A super delicious, quick and vegan recipe for a traditional Nasu Dengaku

    Reply
  19. Adr

    Hi Sneh, wondering if I could use red Miso paste in this recipe?

    Reply
    • Sneh

      yes! absolutely! I switch miso pastes all the time based on what's in the fridge. x

      Reply
  20. Madeline

    5 stars
    This is a fabulous dish. I have made it twice and both times it came out perfectly. I can tell that this recipe was well-tested, because there is exactly enough sauce for the eggplant before they're baked and also to brush on after they come out of the oven. Thank you for a great meal!

    Reply
  21. Beth

    4 stars
    Hi Sneh,
    Your miso eggplant was delicious! You mentioned that we could serve the eggplant with coconut rice & radish pickles - would you please be able to direct me to the recipes?
    Thank you,
    Beth

    Reply
  22. Shelley

    This miso eggplant taste yummy! I don't have mirin and sake and replaced these with some rice vinegar, and it still taste good! I enjoyed it with my quinoa bowl and I find more reasons now to have eggplants hahhaha..
    Thank you very much for sharing this simple and awesome recipe.

    Reply

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