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Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable to cook with. It's simple to transform it into so many dishes - on the bbq in summer, in casseroles in the winter, in dips and veggie platters when entertaining, and anywhere in between all year long.

This Japanese inspired dish is not only pretty to look at, it's really simple to make and is super delicious too! Earthy, smoky and just a little bit sweet, it's one of those dishes you'll find yourself coming back to when you're not sure what to cook.


3 small eggplants

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

¼ cup Awase miso paste

2 tablespoons mirin

3 teaspoons white caster sugar

1 tablespoon sake

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


SLICE the eggplant in half vertically and then diagonally score the inside in a criss-cross pattern. Your knife should go all the way into the flesh until it hits the bottom skin of the eggplant half although take care not to cut through it. PLACE the oil in a large pan over high heat. Put the eggplant halves skin down in the pan, lower to a medium heat and cook until the skin is brown. USING tongs, turn the halves over and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the halves are completely cooked through. IN the meantime, mix the miso paste, mirin, sugar and sake in a bowl. Set aside. PREHEAT the grill in your oven to high. COVER a cooking tray with foil and place the halves on the foil once they have completely cooked through. Brush them with the miso paste mixture and place them under the grill for 3-4 minutes or until the miso starts to bubble and caramelize. SPRINKLE the sesame seeds over the top and serve hot!


TLSE Food Contributor Helen Vlahkis, of Mumma's Country Kitchen


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