- 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
- For 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.
- Heat 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.
- Heat 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.
- Transfer 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.