Many years ago, my fridge (or especially freezer) looked like a morgue. No more. Ever since I started Kitchen Wizard, my kitchen is a lot more organized and that has helped me decide what to cook much quicker, and also reduced waste significantly.
Today, that item was grilled eggplant. As some of you older readers remember, I posted a series of eggplant recipes over the summer. Throwing eggplants on the grill whether we plan to eat on that night or not, along side our chicken and sausages is a must for us, because they are one of the most convenient and versatile thing to have on hand. As the day gets colder and shorter, we don’t grill out much, but they are still handy in fall and winter too – for different dishes.
So I decided to make an easy Japanese dish that can be made with pantry items. This really is a cinch if you already have grilled or sautéed eggplants (ideally cooked in vegetable oil, not olive oil). Obviously, grilled eggplants are healthier – it uses much less oil and salt. You can also stick the whole eggplants in the toaster oven until soft. You can use a conventional oven too, yet a toaster oven heats much quicker (doesn’t require pre-heating), plus uses much less energy.
If you are vegetarian/vegan, omit the meat or chopped shiitake mushrooms as substitute.
Sautéed Eggplant with Miso
Ingredients (2-3 servings):
- Ginger, sliced: about 1 ts
- Green onions, chopped: about 3
- Crushed chili (optional)
- Japanese, Chinese or Italian Eggplants: (ideally already grilled) 5-6
- This is a cinch if you have already grilled or sautéed eggplants. Cut in bite size pieces. You do not need to peel skin for this dish.
- Ground meat: 4oz (100g)
- Sake: 2 TBS (sprinkle 1 TBS on the meat, mix 1 TBS into miso to create paste.)
- Soy sauce: 1 ts
- Sugar: pinch
- Miso: 1 – 2 TBS
- Heat oil in a skillet. Cook sliced ginger and green onions (and chili, if you are using) on medium-high heat until fragrant. (If you don’t have cooked eggplants, add oil and sauté sliced eggplants. Add a little bit of salt to shorten the cooking time). When soft, move toward the edge of the pan.
- If you have the cooked eggplants, add to the onion ginger mixture. Add ground meat and any sake residue, and cook until brown.
- Add soy sauce and pinch of sugar, and mix in the miso/sake mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Kitchen Wizard Leftover Make-Over Tip:
If there’s any left over, add hot water and miso and make eggplant and ground meat miso soup. Add extra green onion on top.
This is a kind of dish they serve at Izakaya as well as at home in Japan… So maybe you should have some beer or sake with this, and pretend that you are in Japan!