I like all summer vegetables, but my favorite is definitely eggplants. Japanese eggplants are my most favorite variety. Sometimes we can buy Japanese eggplants at the local supermarket, where they sell under the name of “Ichiban” eggplant. Some nurseries are also selling Ichiban plants to grow in your garden. But watch out! There are neighborhood squirrels looking forward to it. You might have to surround your plans with garden mesh to protect from them. Italian eggplants are a good substitute as they have a similar taste, and the skin is not too tough. Italian eggplant is usually easier to find at the market.
Today’s dish is one of my mother’s recipes, eggplant and bell pepper sauté with miso paste. The salty-sweet taste is wonderful. Sautéing the veggies until it becomes soft is the key to this recipe. The eggplants with absorbed salty-sweet flavor are my favorite part. Try this dish this summer. You will love it!
Eggplant and Bell Pepper Sauté with Miso Paste
· 1 medium size Italian eggplant or 2 Ichiban eggplants (They are smaller)
· 1 medium size green bell pepper
· 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons of miso paste
· 2 tablespoons of Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
· 2 tablespoons of Japanese sake
· Oil for cooking
· Optional: shiso (oba) leaves, julienned
1. Cut eggplant into bite sized pieces and soak in water for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
2. Cut bell pepper into the same size as the eggplant.
3. Mix brown sugar, miso, mirin, and sake well in a small bowl.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the eggplant first. Add more oil when needed as the eggplant absorbs the oil while it is sautéed. This actually makes them really tasty. Next, add the bell pepper and continue to sauté until the veggies are cooked.
5. Add miso-seasoning paste into the pan, then stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the miso seasoning thickens.
6. Serve in a bowl or plate. If you have Shiso (Oba), add some on top.