It was in a highly organized moment of preparation for the forthcoming weekend of cooking and entertaining friends that I pulled together this Aubergine concoction.
Never one to let those non-meat eaters in the minority miss out, I decided to make a twist on a Japanese recipe that I had been planning on trying out for some time, featured in a sweet little flea market pick up called ‘Japanese Homestyle Cooking.’ As always I began with the intention of following the recipe, however my usual kitchen rebellion kicked in and by the end the dish was a masterpiece of pure improvisation.
The first time I ate Aubergine cooked like this was after my Cordon Bleu graduation lunch, at the Asian Rooms at Novikov. We all went to celebrate passing and toast to no more 6.30am starts. Arriving already pretty merry, and completely underdressed I was not prepared in the slightest.. I definitely looked completely out of place amongst the Burberry and Prada trenches in my scruffy denim jacket! Nevertheless i forgot all of this as soon as the food came out. The Aubergine in particular were amazing! They were crispy and flavored deliciously in a White Miso Sauce. They had been lightly floured and deep fried, making the outside crispy and keeping the insides soft and mushy. Seriously good! This was the flavour I was going for, but with a slightly softer texture. I wanted to serve the Aubergine dish in a thick Miso Sauce and make it into more of a main, as opposed to a veggie side dish, but you could if you wanted to.
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side
- 2 Medium Aubergines
- 1/3 cup Water
- 1 tb Mirin
- 2 tbs White Miso Paste
- 2 tbs Soy Sauce
- 2 tb Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tbs grated Ginger
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- Plain Flour, to coat the aubergine before frying
- 4 tbs chopped Spring Onions
- 2 tsp Sesame Seeds
- 4 tbs Olive/ Coconut Oil
Dice the aubergine, into 1 inch chunks, cover in a little salt and set aside for 30 minutes. This removes the bitterness from the aubergine.
Blot off the salt and add the aubergine to a bowl with 1/2 ginger, miso, soy sauce and sugar add enough water to make it into a thick paste, about the texture of ketchup. Leave to one side to marinade for 30 minutes
Drain in a sieve for 15 minutes, reserving the marinade liquid. Make sure the aubergine is fully dry and not holding on to any excess water, blot on paper if need be. Dust lightly with flour and fry in 3 tbs Oil on a high heat for 10-15 mins to develop some colour and crispness. You can do them in batches.
Once the aubergine is cooked turn out on to a plate and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the marinade liquid, the remaining minced ginger and garlic. Cook to reduce slightly. Drizzle over the crispy aubergine.
Garnish with chopped spring onions and a scattering of sesame seeds.