Yaki nasu is the Japanese name for this dish, maybe the more complete name is Miso yaki nasu as it is baked with miso. The type of miso that I used for this dish is white miso paste – though the true color of the miso is brown yellow. This miso is actually lighter in flavor, unlike the red miso paste which is stronger and deeper in flavor.
The Japanese’s favorite eggplants are not so long. They are about half the length of this one. This long eggplant does not have a top quality for flavor, however, it is also suitable for making this dish. I regretted that I only baked one eggplant for two persons. At first I thought such a long eggplant was enough, but the yaki nasu was so great in flavor and texture that we finished it in a couple of minutes and then we wished to have another one. The miso paste after being baked was so great to go with eggplant.
Ingredients (for each long eggplant)
- 1 long eggplant
- 3/4 tbs white miso paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1 stalk green onion/scallion, chopped
- bonito flake (katsuoboshi)
- Preheat the oven to 400F (205C).
- Pound the eggplant lightly against the kitchen table evenly on all sides, but be careful not to break the skin. Doing this softens the eggplant a bit.
- Grease the baking tray with a little oil. Place the eggplant on the tray, bake for 10 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the miso and sugar in a small saucepan, place over low heat until the mixture is hot and sugar has melted.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven, cut a slit lengthwise but stop at the two ends. Carefully open the eggplant, spread the miso mixture into the cavity of the eggplant. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 mintues.
- Remove and drizzle with sesame oil.
- Serve with chopped green onion / scallion and bonito flakes.