Nasu dengaku (茄子田楽) is a very well-known Japanese aubergine dish, this is my take on it: I cook the aubergines in the microwave rather than roasting or frying them. Combined with soy beans and Japanese rice this makes a great Japanese-style meal.
This reciped requires 30 minutes soaking time followed by 20 minutes cooking time.
For two people:
- 2 medium aubergines
- 1 cup of frozen soy beans
- 1 cup of Japanese rice
For the dengaku sauce:
- 1 tablespoon miso (the miso I use is very dark and salty, use a bit more for a milder miso)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- a few drops of sesame oil
- some water
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- a 1 cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon wakame seaweed
Soaking: 30 minutes
- Wash the rice (see basics). Put it in a pot with 1.1 cup of cold water and leave it for 30 minutes.
- Soak the shiitake for 30 minutes in a cup of freshly boiled water, then slice them thinly.
- Soak the wakame in 500 ml cold water for 30 minutes, then drain in a sieve.
Cooking: 20 minutes
- Cook the rice (see basics for how to cook Japanese rice).
- While the rice is cooking:
- Cook the beans for 3 minutes in the microwave at full power (900W). Add the shiitake and ginger to the beans and cook for two minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash the aubergines and cut back the green leaves at the base of the stalk. Otherwise they might shrivel and burn when cooked.
- Cut the aubergines lengthwise and the make diagonal cuts in the flesh, but not throught the skin so that the aubergines keeps its shape. The cuts make the aubergine cook a bit quicker and also make it easier to eat the cooked aubergine with chop sticks.
- Put the aubergines halves back together and cook them in a microwave pot for 4 minutes at full power (900W). Turn them upside down and cook for another 4 minutes at full power (900W).
- While the aubergines are cooking, make the dengaku sauce: combine the miso, sugar and mirin in a small saucepan over very low heat. Add some water if required and a few drops of oil to give extra gloss.
- Spread the sauce over the aubergine halves put under the grill for a few minutes.