Cooking the eggplant this way steams the flesh in the skin, giving a really moist and delicate result that helps to soak up the flavours from the dressing. This dish goes well with steamed Asian greens and rice, and it's great with fried chicken.
4 medium-sized eggplants
3 tsp dashi powder *
1 1/2 tbsp yellow miso paste
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
10cm fresh ginger, finely diced
300g silken tofu
3 spring onions, sliced in rounds
* Some dashi (Japanese stock) is not vegetarian and may include fish.
1. Preheat the oven to 220C, fan forced.
2. Place the eggplants on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel off the skin, cut the flesh into one-centimetre strips and arrange in a serving dish.
3. In a jug, add 100 millilitres of water, the dashi, yellow miso paste, sesame oil, soy and half the sunflower oil. Process with a stick blender. Pour a third of this over the eggplant strips.
4. In a small pot, not heated, add the garlic, ginger and remaining sunflower oil, then bring to medium heat. Fry for three to four minutes until just golden and fragrant, but take care - too brown and the garlic will be bitter. Drain on a paper towel.
5. Dice half the tofu and distribute it over the eggplant. Add the remaining tofu to the remaining dressing and blitz with the stick blender until frothy. Pour over the eggplant. Sprinkle over the spring onion and the crispy ginger and garlic.
Drink Cold sake.