Eggplants are so versatile it is no wonder many countries have tasty eggplant recipes. Nasu Dengaku is a Japanese eggplant dish that is extremely simple to make, and totally delicious. In fact, you only need a few ingredients and about 15 minutes from start to finish.
Most eggplant recipes prep this vegetable in one of two ways. Either it is cubed like I do for my soy sauce roast eggplant, or it is split in half and scored like I do in my eggplant with tahini yogurt sauce. This nasu dengaku recipe is prepped in the latter.
What Is Nasu Dengaku?
Nasu Dengaku is a miso glazed eggplant recipe that is popular as a side dish in Japan. Nasu, meaning eggplant, is paired with dengaku, a word used to describe harvest or agricultural festivals.
As this dish is a bit old fashioned, and uses a vegetable as the star ingredient, think of it as a celebration of tasty roast eggplant.
How To Make Nasu Dengaku
This dish is very easy and only takes about 15 minutes max. Slice your eggplants in half and score them with a knife. Then place them skin side down in a pan of very hot oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes then flip and cook the flesh of the eggplant. Also turn your oven on the broil section at 220c or 450f with the fan.
The miso glaze is super easy to make. I use shiyo (or white) miso as it is readily available and more delicate than red or brown miso. This is also the best type for miso soup if you like to enjoy Japan’s national soup! In a bowl mix two tablespoons of the miso paste along with a tablespoon of mirin, a tablespoon of sake, and two teaspoons of honey.
The final glaze is thick and rich. You don’t need a lot, but if you feel it is too thick you can thin it out with a bit of water. This is a very similar glaze to that I use in my miso glazed shrimp skewers hors d’oeuvre!
After your eggplant has fried a bit on each side, remove them and place them flesh side up on a baking tray. I suggest using a silicone mat so nothing sticks. Brush on the miso glaze and pop the tray into the oven for about 4 minutes. The glaze should bubble and caramelize slightly.
Plate your homemade nasu dengaku and sprinkle over some sesame seeds for garnish. Serve with whatever Japanese main dish you decided to make (I love pairing it with some Japanese chicken skewers).
- 1 Oven
- 1 Baking Tray
- 1 Pan
- 2 Eggplants sliced in half and scored
- 2 tbsp Oil Neutral oil like Sunflower or Soybean
- 2 tbsp Miso Paste you can use any miso paste, but for this recipe I decided to use shiro (white) miso
- 1 tbsp Sake
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 2 tsp Sugar
- Preheat your oven to 220c or 450f on the broil setting
- Place the oil in a pan and bring to high heat. Add the eggplants skin side down and cook for a few minutes. Then flip and cook the flesh for another few minutes, until nicely browned.
- While the eggplant is cooking you can make the miso glaze by mixing together the rest of the ingredients. If it seems too thick add a tbsp of water to thin it out.
- Remove the eggplant from the pan and place on a baking tray skin side down. Brush over the miso glaze.
- Place the tray on the top rack of the oven for 4 minutes so the glaze gets a bit caramelized. It should be near black and bubbly when you pull it out.
- Plate and serve immediately.