Miso aubergine (AKA Nasu dengaku) is a flavoursome Japanese side dish that combines a popular veggie with a rich and tasty miso glaze. It has an umami rich flavor, a melt in the mouth texture and it's so easy to cook. Just a few ingredients, vegan and can be made gluten free.
🌟 Why this recipe works
Rich, sweet and umami flavour – the combination of ingredients in the miso glaze in this recipe is out of this world. With just a handful of ingredients, it must be some kind of magic that it tastes this good! It's sweet, rich and features a big umami hit. Miso glazed aubergine is the best way to eat eggplant! Unless you prefer a simple aubergine curry that is (haha).
Perfectly cooked – the thing with aubergines is that they're often served under cooked, with a spongey yet hard to chew texture. That's cool, not everyone has mastered the art yet. But this miso glazed aubergine recipe is the epitome of great aubergine cooking! They're perfectly soft and creamy in the middle whilst retaining a bite to the skin, without being rubbery.
It is melt-in-the-mouth good. The key is to bake it for 50-60 minutes in the oven. Truly delightful! If you want more eggplant cooking tips, checkout this amazing list of aubergine recipes.
Years of testing – we've been making this miso glazed aubergine recipe for years, but somehow there was a delay in getting it to the blog! Inspired by a dinner in London years ago, we've been hooked ever since. Even better when topped with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions. Like our gochujang tofu recipe.
Easy & inclusive – glazed aubergines are super simple to make. Just prepare the sauce, score the aubergine halves, smother in sauce and then bake in the oven! Not only is it easy, but it's suitable for many dietary requirements too, such as gluten free (use tamari), dairy free, low FODMAP and vegan and vegetarian too.
🍆 What is nasu dengaku?
Nasu dengaku basically translates to miso glazed aubergine from Japanese. The translation literally means 'aubergine with miso'. It can be cooked in the oven or grilled.
Miso glazed aubergine is a traditional Japanese dish that's served as a side. However it can be served as a main dish when served with rice and a side of stir fried broccoli or other vegetables.
In addition, miso dengaku, which relates solely to the mizo glaze, can be made with a number of veggies and proteins, not just aubergine. Many other things can be miso glazed, such as tofu, konnyaku, aubergine or daikon. It's usually vegan.
Aubergine katsu curry is another fantastic Japanese dish that features aubergine!
📋 Ingredient notes
Aubergine – Traditionally, miso aubergine is made with Japanese aubergines, called Nasu. They're basically long, thin, dark aubergines. So you probably won't find them in a standard supermarket, but regular old aubergines are just perfect too.
If you want to hunt them down though, check out a local oriental supermarket. (We use standard eggplants in this recipe)
Miso paste – white miso paste is used to create an umami rich miso glaze, with a hint of 'funk'. It works perfectly with the saltiness of the soy sauce (or tamari), sharpness of the mirin and sweetness of the maple syrup. Find out the best miso paste substitutes if you haven't got any!
Soy sauce – this is a key ingredient for miso aubergine! It packs in the umami and brings a salty flavour to the glaze. Light soy sauce should be used, not dark. That's because dark soy sauce is incredibly rich and salty.
Alternatively, switch light soy sauce for for a gluten free version, or for tamari.
Mirin – this is a type of Japanese rice wine. It's similar to sake but sweeter and has a lower alcohol content.
If you're looking to switch it out for something you might already have in your cupboard, rice vinegar will work fine. It's not as sweet, but the maple syrup will add a good level of sweetness to the miso glazed aubergine.
Sesame seeds – it's super important to serve this dish with toasted sesame seeds! It complements the glazed aubergines so well. The sesame seeds can be toasted at home in a frying pan over a medium heat (cook until golden) or bought already toasted. They go great on this Gochujang braised tofu too.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make this miso aubergine recipe.
🔪 Miso glazed aubergine step-by-step instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for making miso glazed aubergine. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Preheat the oven to 190°c / 370°f. Mix the sesame oil, miso paste, soy sauce, mirin and maple syrup in a small bowl or jug.
If the miso is quite thick you may need to smush it against the side of the jug with a spoon to help break it down. That should help the mixture to combine into a smooth liquid.
2. Cut the aubergines in half and then score the inside in a criss-cross pattern to create diamond shapes.
3. Lay the aubergine halves, skin side down, on a lined or non-stick baking sheet.
4. Spoon or brush the miso glaze over the aubergines, ensuring that all of the flesh is covered.
5. Put in the oven to bake for 50 minutes – the aubergines should be melt-in-the-mouth soft and golden-brown on top once done. If they’re not quite brown enough, put them in for another 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve the miso glazed aubergine with white or brown rice, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.
👩🍳 Expert tips
What miso to use? White miso (shiro) is the traditional choice and we think it has the best flavour – it's slightly mellower and sweeter than red miso (acka) or brown miso (shinshu).
Make it gluten free – nasu dengaku is completely gluten free when made with tamari or gluten free soy sauce in place of the light soy sauce. Same flavour, just without the gluten!
Scoring the flesh – be careful when scoring the aubergine flesh. Don't cut through the aubergine skin as well. Try to cut as close to the skin as possible without actually going through it.
Aubergine cooking – it's a travesty when aubergine is served undercooked! So don't cut corners in this recipe. The key to cooking aubergine properly is baking it in the oven until it is perfectly soft and creamy all the way through. It's no different for this miso aubergine – it needs just as long in the oven, it's just coated with the most incredible miso glaze. Trust us on this one! That being said a small aubergine may need 10 minutes less in the oven.
Water – aubergines contain a lot of water. Some will pool in the scored parts of the glazed aubergine whilst cooking. However, don't be alarmed by this. The water will cook off. It's important not to disturb the aubergine during cooking. Whilst testing, we actually added more glaze halfway through cooking this recipe, it actually made the aubergine lose even more water, so we don't recommend doing that!
Storage – miso glazed aubergine is best served fresh, but it does keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for 15-20 minutes. We don't recommend freezing due to the texture not holding up when cooking from frozen.
Miso glazed aubergine can be served as a side by itself, or can be turned into a main meal with brown rice and stir fried veggies. It goes great with loads of other Asian inspired dishes, such as stir fried vegetables and kimchi fried rice.
Nasu dengaku translates from Japanese to 'aubergine with miso glaze'. 'Nasu' means aubergine and 'dengaku' refers to the salty-sweet glaze.
It's so simple to make a miso aubergine recipe! Simply cut the aubergine in half and score the flesh with a knife, place on a baking sheet. Mix together the sauce ingredients, then slather it onto the scored side of the vegetable, then bake for 50-60 minutes.
🍛 Serving suggestions
Mizo glazed aubergine can be served as a side or a main. It goes so well with these dishes:
🍆 More aubergine recipes to try
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Best Miso Glazed Aubergine
- 2 aubergines – halved and scored into diamonds
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin – or rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 0.5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 spring onions – thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 190°c / 370°f.
- Mix the sesame oil, miso paste, soy sauce, mirin (or rice vinegar) and maple syrup in a small bowl or jug. If the miso is quite thick you may need to smush it against the side of the jug with a spoon to help break it down. That should help the sauce to mix together well.1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp miso paste, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Cut the aubergines in half and then score the inside in a criss-cross pattern to create diamond shapes.2 aubergines
- Lay the aubergines, skin side down, on a lined or non-stick baking sheet.
- Spoon or brush the miso glaze over the aubergines, ensuring that all of the flesh is covered.
- Put in the oven to bake for 50 minutes – the aubergines should be melt-in-the-mouth soft and golden-brown on top once done. If they’re not quite brown enough, put them in for another 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve with rice to make it into a main dish.0.5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 2 spring onions
- Storage – this dish can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 190°c / 370°f. We don't recommend freezing.
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