A super delicious vegan recipe for miso glazed eggplant, a traditional Japanese dish known as Nasu Dengaku. If you are a fan of eggplant just like I am, you’ll love this dish!
The aubergine is roasted in the oven with a sweet, savoury and addictively delicious umami-rich dressing. If you need a reason to try (or love) miso, than this is your recipe.
Miso glazed eggplant
This recipe brings me back to my hometown — Vancouver — a cultural melting pot with so many different cultures and cuisines. Japanese food being one of the most popular. And one of my favourites! It’s so much more than sushi. It’s also the type of cuisine I I cooked most often in my 20s. So this recipe is a little nostalgic and reminds me once again, why I love Japanese food. It always amazes me how simple dishes can have such an incredible depth of flavour. And a little tip, if aubergine isn’t your thing, this miso sauce is for so much more than eggplant. Try with with salmon, cod or tofu. And since summer is here, how about putting some miso-glazed skewers on the grill?
Use small to medium-sized eggplants. Large eggplants can be more bitter and have more seeds.
Salting eggplant gives them a sweat and draws out moisture. The result is firm but creamy and simply luscious.
I like to glaze the eggplant twice during baking, but you can also glaze it a second time right before serving. And if you just doing two medium aubergines, rather than 4 small ones, you can serve any leftover sauce on the side for anyone wanting to add even more flavor..
Key ingredients for this miso sauce
A few key Japanese ingredients are used for this miso glazed eggplant recipe. There’s sake, mirin and miso paste.
It’s a Japanese rice wine. Just how wine is made from grapes, sake is made from rice. Japanese use sake for cooking, just like how you would use wine for cooking.
Is a sweet Japanese rice wine. It has a high sugar content and is the perfect balance to the salty flavor of soy sauce. It’s similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol and higher sugar content.
It’s the mellow miso, compared to the red miso used for soups. It has a milder, more delicate flavor and complements dressings and sauces really well.
Looking for other recipe inspiration?
Then try one of these delicious dishes:
Miso Glazed Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku)
Miso glazed eggplant is a classic oven-roasted dish made with eggplant in a sweet and savory miso glaze. Compliment this delicious vegan dish with steamed rice.
For the eggplant:
- 4 small eggplants (each ca. 225 g), halved lengthwise
- 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 2 tbsp sake (see notes)
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar (mascabado or coconut sugar)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (mild-tasting)
- 4 tablespoons white miso (shiro: white fermented soybean paste)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (black or white)
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Steamed jasmine rice
Place the eggplants cut side up on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle with salt and gently rub the salt over the flesh.
Set aside to rest for 30 minutes, then use a clean dish towel or paper towel to dab the eggplant dry.
Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
In a small saucepan, heat the mirin, sake, brown sugar and olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the miso paste until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. The sauce will become slightly thicker and will have reduced slightly. Remove it from the heat.
With a sharp knife, score the flesh deeply in a diamond cross-hatch pattern, without cutting into the skin (as shown in the pictures).
Using a pastry brush, generously brush half of the miso sauce over the cut side of the eggplants.
Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until tender (depending on the eggplant size). Halfway through the baking time, remove them from the oven and brush with the remaining glaze.
While the eggplant is in the oven prepare the jasmine rice according to the package instructions. (15 minutes).
Remove from the eggplant from the oven. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice.
If desired, serve with an Asian Cherry Tomato Salad:
125-150 g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
juice of half a lemon, 1/2 a red onion (chopped),
half a small bunch fresh cilantro (chopped)
drizzle of soy sauce
drizzle mild extra-virgin olive oil
- If you don’t have sake on hand it can be either omitted or replaced with dry sherry or Chinese rice wine.
- You can also use two or three medium-sized eggplants for this recipe. If you have any extra miso sauce left, you can serve it on the side.
- 390 calories per serving if served with 200g jasmine rice.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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