Eggplant With MisoFoodista
1/2 cup sesame seeds
canola oil (for frying)
24 ounces japanese eggplants
1 cup miso paste (see below)
1 1/2 cups white miso
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sake
3/4 cup mirin
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1For the Den Miso: Combine miso and sugar in the top of a double boiler. Add sake and mirin, and whisk to combine using a heavy whisk. Cook over boiling water, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the color begins to darken, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool.
2Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sesame seeds on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove to a shallow dish to cool. Increase heat to broil. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
3Heat 2 inches of oil to 360 degrees in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Halve aubergines lengthwise with flesh side scored in a cross-hatch pattern. Place aubergine in saucepan, skin-side up, and cook for 1 minute. Turn, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove to paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
4Transfer aubergine, skin-side down, to an unlined baking sheet. Spread each aubergine half with slightly more than 1 tablespoon den miso. Broil to heat through, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and garnish with pickled ginger and plums.