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Infused with umami goodness and a touch of sweetness, this miso aubergine is not only incredibly simple to whip up but also an unforgettable way to enjoy eggplant. It can be the star of your dinner plate, a delightful sidekick to your mains, or puree it and enjoy as a dip or spread!

An overhead shot of cooked eggplant with green onions, rice, and carrots.
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Miso Glazed Aubergine

Nasu Dengaku is a classic Japanese side dish that features grilled or broiled eggplant (nasu) topped with a sweet and savory miso glaze (dengaku).

This version is slightly different in that the eggplant is roasted in the oven until soft and tender.

If you are a fan of rich umami with a hint of sweetness, you will love this dish! It’s one of the few ways my kids (and I) will eat this nutritious vegetable.

This miso glaze is slightly adapted from my miso tofu recipe and can even be tossed with pasta! Say hello to miso pasta, your go-to weeknight dinners that’s made with pantry staples and minimal effort.

toddler pushing bowl away

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Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a wooden board.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Aubergines (Eggplants) – I am using the most commonly found globe eggplants but you can use any type. The Japanese eggplants are skinnier and smaller so you will need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Miso paste – Infuses SO much umami flavor to the dish. White miso paste (shiro miso) will work better as it is lighter and sweeter in flavor, but you can use red miso if that’s all you can find. Also look for reduced sodium paste, especially if intending to share with your baby or toddler.
  • Peanut butter – helps balance the salty flavor of miso paste and imparts a nutty flavor and creaminess. You can also use your favorite nut butter like, like almond butter, tahini, or sunflower seed butter if peanut-free.
  • Rice vinegar – its tanginess helps cut through the richness of the miso paste
  • Sesame oil – this is one of my favorite Asian cooking ingredient! Adds a rich, nutty flavor to the dish

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage of how to make miso aubergine.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and pat dry the aubergines. Using a sharp knife, score flesh diagonally in criss-cross pattern. You want deep cuts but take care not to cut through the skin.
  2. Brush the eggplant halves with some sesame oil and bake flesh side down for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the miso paste, peanut butter, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and hot water until smooth and well-combined.
  4. Remove from the oven, flip over and using a spoon or a pastry brush, spread the miso glaze evenly over all the eggplants. Carefully work the miso sauce into the crisscross cuts.
  5. Bake for 15-20 more minutes, until the eggplants are tender.
  6. Sprinkle baked eggplants with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Enjoy immediately.

Tips for Success

  • Be really careful not to slice through the skin of aubergines. Create deep cuts while keeping the skin intact.
  • Take your time making sure the miso mixture gets distributed throughout the aubergine’s crevices.
  • If you desire a crispier exterior, place under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serving Suggestions

A cube of cooked eggplant held by chopsticks.

Here are some different ways to savor and incorporate miso-glazed aubergine into your meals:

  • As a side dish – serve as a delicious side dish alongside roasted chicken, beef, tofu, or seafood, such as teriyaki salmon or shrimp.
  • In a bowl – create a nourishing bowl by combining the miso-glazed eggplant with cooked quinoa, white rice, lentils, or pasta. Add vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, bok choy, cherry tomatoes, and top it off with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • In sandwiches or wraps – use the sliced eggplant as a filling for sandwiches, wraps (try these lentil wraps), or pitas. Add some lettuce, and a drizzle of tahini or yogurt sauce.
  • In salads – chop the eggplant into bite-sized pieces and toss them into salads with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  • Add as a topping for sushi bake.
  • On pizza – makes for a delicious topping for this protein pizza.
  • As a dip or spread – puree and use as a dip for pita bread, tortilla chips, or fresh vegetables. You can also spread it on crackers or toast for an easy snack for toddlers, kids, and adults!

For Babies and Toddlers

A toddler's plate with a strip of miso aubergine, rice, carrots, and chicken.

For babies, you can mash or puree the eggplants and stir into oatmeal, quinoa, or spread onto toast. You can reduce the amount of miso paste to 1 tablespoon to cut back on sodium. But I wouldn’t worry too much as the recipe is for the entire dish, and your baby will only eat a small portion at a time.

For toddlers, slice into long strip or cut out the cubes so it’s easy to eat.

Storage

It is best to enjoy miso aubergine immediately, but if you have any leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Reheat in the microwave or oven at 375°F until heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is miso paste?

It is a Japanese fermented paste that is made with soya beans (soybeans), a grain (mainly rice or barley), salt, and koji (a mold). It adds incredible umami flavor to so many Japanese dishes, like miso soup.

There are so many types of miso and the color indicates the duration of the fermentation process. The darker the color, like red miso paste, the stronger the flavor.

You will find it in the refrigerator section of Asian grocery stores or your local grocery store may carry it.

For this recipe, I recommend using white miso paste.

Can you eat the skin of an Nasu Dengaku?

You can, especially if you are using smaller eggplants like the Japanese variety. If your eggplants are larger with tougher skin, scoop and eat just the flesh.

More Asian Recipes to Try

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 4 votes

Miso Aubergine

Infused with umami goodness and a touch of sweetness, this miso aubergine is not only incredibly simple to whip up but also an unforgettable way to enjoy eggplant
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 2 aubergines (eggplants)
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, see note
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or mirin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and pat dry the aubergines. Using a sharp knife, score flesh diagonally in criss-cross pattern. You want deep cuts but take care not to cut through the skin.
  • Brush the eggplant halves with some sesame oil and bake flesh side down for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the miso paste, peanut butter, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and hot water until smooth and well-combined.
  • Remove from the oven, flip over and using a spoon or a pastry brush, spread the miso glaze evenly over all the eggplants. Carefully work the miso sauce into the crisscross cuts. Take your time making sure the miso mixture gets distributed throughout. If you desire a crispier exterior, place under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Bake for 15-20 more minutes, until the eggplants are tender. If you desire a crispier exterior, place under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Sprinkle baked eggplants with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

It is best to enjoy miso aubergine immediately, but if you have any leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven at 375°F until heated through.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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