Miso Eggplant ‘Steaks’

3 miso eggplant steaks

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.

Prepare Ahead?

Theis reheats surprisingly well. So feel free to make in advance and reheat in the oven, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Leftover Potential

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.

Serving Suggestions

Great as light veggie dinner on its own. Or serve as part of a Japanese spread.

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  • Oh. My. Goodness. Where has this recipe been all my life? What a great start to the meal plan this week. YUM.

    First time using miso paste and still dreaming about it… 🙂

  • Made this last night for dinner. My husband loved it, so did I! All that umame from the miso with the creaminess of the eggplant…absolutely delicious! I served it on a bed of my own home grown baby spinach. That in itself is very satisfying. I also sautéed snow peas in oil, seasoned with a little salt, a lot of freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of a surprisingly juicy kaffir lime (from our tree). To top it off I used some off the left over miso dressing in the snow peas as I took them off the heat.
    A delightful new way to enjoy eggplants and snowpeas.

      • The spinach has been the quickest to grow and be used along with the Asian greens (all gone but there is more coming along). Everything else is powering away and within the next few weeks there will be a bounty of vegetables. Love it fresh from the garden, I know it’s history. Cheers

        • I only have herbs and salad leaves at the moment Yvonne…

          Hope we get more rain soon so I can start planting more..

          You’re so right about the benefits of knowing the history of your food!


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