Eggplant w/Tofu, Pork & Miso
I love eggplant. I think eggplant and miso go good together.
At our house, we call this dish--and pretty much any dish made in a skillet with everything mixed together--Okazu. In Japanese-American households, okazu is a general dish to go with rice. I made a different type of okazu the first month I started blogging. This one is Eggplant with Tofu, Pork & Miso.
- 2 eggplants
- canola oil
- thinly sliced pork or ground pork
- 1 block medium tofu
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Aloha shoyu
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tablespoons miso
Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Preheat the broiler to high. Put the eggplant slices into a large bowl of water and soak them for 5 minutes or so. This will take any bitterness out--when you drain the water it will be tinged a little dark. After draining them, put the slices on a baking sheet and brush them with a little oil on each side.
Broil for about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. I put the two pans in the oven at once, so the pan on the second rack will be hot and take less time to brown when the top one is done and I move the bottom one to the top.
They don't have to be real soft because you're going to cook them just a bit more when you add them to the pan. You could cook the eggplant in the skillet, you don't have to cook them this way in the broiler--I did it this way when I made Moussaka, and liked the technique because it uses less oil.
Slice the eggplant into bite-sized pieces and set aside. You can also slice a slightly frozen pork chop into thin slices, that works too, or use ground pork. Cut the slices in half.
Grate the ginger for about 2 teaspoons and mince the garlic for about the same. Saute the ginger and garlic in a little bit of oil, then add the sliced pork, separating the slices. It will cook fast since it's so thin. Add the eggplant.
Drain the water from the tofu, cut it into cubes and add it to the pan. Mix 2 tablespoons miso with 1/4 cup mirin, 2 tablespoons shoyu and 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar.
It's helpful to mix the miso with a little bit of water first, so it incorporates into the sauce smoothly.
Add the miso sauce and add about 1 cup of water so there's some sauce. Heat gently until simmering, but you don't want to boil the miso. Taste and adjust seasonings. I like to sprinkle it with a pinch of chili flakes.
Garnish with thinly sliced green onions. Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds and add tsukemono, kizami shoga or some slices of sushi ginger. Serve with hot rice and maybe some sliced cucumbers.