|Eggplant with Sweet Ginger Miso Paste
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/3 cup shiro (white) miso
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
6 Chinese or Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Type of fire: direct
Grill heat: high
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, sake, mirin, and rice vinegar until sugar is dissolved. Add miso and ginger and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
In another small bowl, combine vegetable and sesame oils. Score the flesh side of eggplants in a cross-cross pattern every 1/2 an inch or so. Brush each piece of eggplant all over with the oil mixture.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill eggplants, flesh side down, over high heat until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and continue to grill until very tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Place the eggplants, flesh side up, on a platter. Spread each half with about 1 tablespoon of the ginger-miso paste. Sprinkle lightly with toasted sesame seed and serve immediately.
serves 4 to 6 as a side, active time 40 minutes, total time 20 minutes