Miso glazed eggplant (nasu dengaku)

I attribute it to the pregnancy cravings, but o was in a major mood for miso glazed eggplant last night.

A few years ago, I kept hearing the word umami pop up. I heard it described as the 5th taste. In Japanese it means “essence of deliciousness.” It’s used to describe foods that are pleasantly savory, but with a hint of sweetness. That’s exactly what this eggplant is to me.

I’ve often ordered it in restaurants but never tried making it at home until recently. Turns out it’s pretty easy. You just score and cook your eggplant, then glaze it with miso sauce. That’s pretty much it.

Definitely give this a shot, either as a stand-alone dish or alongside some garlic rice.


  • 2 large regular eggplants or 4 Japanese eggplants, sliced into 1 1/2 inch thick slices
  • Neutral cooking oil, such as canola or grapeseed oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup miso paste (I used brown)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice eggplant into 1 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a knife, score eggplants with criss cross lines, taking care not to cut all the way through. Using a pastry brush, brush each slice with grape seed oil on both sides.
  3. Bake eggplant slices on foil lined sheet for 15 minutes, scored side down.
  4. In the meantime, make your glaze. Whisk together miso paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of your sesame seeds, and water.
  5. Remove eggplant from oven and coat each slice with a layer of miso glaze.
  6. Return tray to the oven and broil your eggplant on high for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove eggplant, sprinkle on remaining sesame and scallions, and serve!


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