Miso Eggplant ‘Steaks’
The secret to silky eggplant texture is to cook the ‘steaks’ with the lid on so they steam as well as brown. White miso is the most delicately flavoured of the miso pastes. If you can only find darker coloured miso, start with half the amount and add to taste.
enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons rice or sherry or white wine vinegar
1 bag baby spinach leaves, to serve
1. Heat a large frying pan or skillet on a medium high heat. Slice eggplant into 4 thick steaks. Add oil to the pan and sear eggplant, covered for about 15 minutes all up. Turning every 5 minutes and keeping the pan covered. If the eggplant starts to burn, reduce the heat.
2. Meanwhile, combine miso, vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. A few minutes before the eggplant is cooked, place a little of the dressing on each steak.
3. Serve steaks on a bed of baby spinach with extra miso dressing drizzled over.
Theis reheats surprisingly well. So feel free to make in advance and reheat in the oven, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
Will keep for a week or so in the fridge.
carnivore – cook the eggplant with regular beef steaks. Also lovely with chicken breasts or thighs.
soy-free / can’t find miso paste / sugar-free – skip the miso dressing and serve ‘steaks’ with a generous dollup of basil pesto.
more substantial – serve on a bed of cooked lentils, ‘cauliflower rice’ (finely grated raw cauliflower or steamed rice.
more substantial (low carb) – roast sunflower seeds. Cauliflower ‘rice’.
herby – if you can find some shiso leaves, sometimes called japanese mint, toss them in with the baby spinach. Otherwise a bunch of regular mint will do the trick.
baked – a longer but lower maintenance method is to roast the eggplant slices for about 30 minutes until very soft before finishing with the miso dressing.
more veg – serve with a side of stir fried snow peas.
paleo (grain, legume & dairy-free) – serve eggplant with dairy-free pesto instead of miso.
Problem Solving Guide
eggplant burning – It’s important to keep an eye on the steaks as they cook and reduce the heat if they’re burning or cooking too fast. Adding a splash of water can help calm the burning and help the steaming as well. Make sure the steaks are well covered as they cook to help the steaming process.
eggplant crunchy – one of my pet hates is undercooked eggplant. Make sure it is meltingly tender before taking it off the heat. If you find it underdone best to return to the pan for a little while.
short on time? – cut the eggplant into thinner ‘minute steaks’ which will cook more quickly.
bland – it’s important to get the miso dressing flavour balance right.. taste and tweak with more sugar / vinegar / miso until the flavours sing.
too salty – it’s easy to over salt with intensely salty ingredients like miso. If you’ve overdone it, balance out the dressing with a little more sugar and some olive oil.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
eggplant (aubergine) – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen if needed. Or cooked eggplant eggplant should last a month or so.
miso paste – unopened paste can be kept in the pantry, once open needs to be refrigerated.
rice or sherry or white wine vinegar / sugar – keep in the pantry.
baby spinach – either freeze or wilt down in a pan with a little oil and then keep in the fridge for weeks.
Great as light veggie dinner on its own. Or serve as part of a Japanese spread.
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