I’ve been DYING to make and share this recipe ever since I had miso-sesame glazed eggplant at a local sushi spot here in Denver. This Sticky Miso-Sesame Glazed Eggplant & Tofu is my way to pay homage to the absolutely delicious traditional Japanese dish Nasu Dengaku.
One reason (among many, ha!) that I love to go out to eat at restaurants is because it inspires me like no other to get in my kitchen and create new recipes. I love experiencing flavors that are new to me! That’s how I felt when I tried the Miso Eggplant at the sushi restaurant, and went home to research and find out that Nasu Dengaku is a traditional dish in Japan! No wonder, the flavors are truly meant to be together!
Although my version of Miso-Sesame Glazed Eggplant is definitely not an authentic representation of the dish, an umami-rich-miso glaze is still the star of the show and it’s just incredible.
I love using miso paste in a lot of recipes, whether it’s sauces, salad dress or marinades because it provides such an umami and salty flavor that is so unique. Balanced with a tiny bit of sweet and spicy, it’s just the perfect bite of flavor!
HOW TO MAKE THE STICKY MISO-SESAME GLAZED EGGPLANT & TOFU
- Preheat your oven to 400. First, it’s very important prep both the tofu and the eggplant. For the tofu, I recommend pressing it so that you get excess moisture out. To do this, I typically lay a dish towel or paper towels on a plate, place the tofu down, and then wrap the dish towel around or add more paper towels and cover again with a plate weighed down by an object. To get the excess moisture out of the eggplant, wash & dry the eggplant before cubing it. Add the eggplant to a bowl and sprinkle with the 1 tsp salt. Allow to sit while the tofu presses, about 20-30 minutes, and then dab the eggplant with a paper towel or dish towel to soak up the moisture that the salt released.
- Cube the tofu into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Coat with 1 tbsp arrowroot starch. Line a baking sheet (you’ll probably need two) with parchment paper and spread out the eggplant and tofu. Drizzle the eggplant with a small amount of oil before baking if desired. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until both are golden brown and the eggplant is softened and the tofu is crispy.
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the glaze and whisk well. Heat a small pot over medium heat on the stove, and heat the glaze, stirring frequently, until it is the desired consistency.
- Toss both the eggplant and tofu in the glaze in a bowl. If desired, return to the baking sheet and broil (be careful with broiling parchment paper, though!) until browned on the outside. However it’s still delicious without that step!
- Enjoy with steamed rice or vegetables. Top with sesame seeds & a few sprigs of Thai basil.
- I decided to add tofu to this dish to add some protein and make it a bit more of a complete meal, but you can always just double the amount of eggplant and leave the tofu out.
- To keep the dish vegan, I didn’t add fish sauce, but it’s delicious with it! If you wish to add it (gives it even more of an umami boost), I suggest adding 1 tbsp.
- This glaze would really be delicious with a lot of different vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms) and even a protein like chicken or salmon.
- If you don’t want to use coconut aminos, you can sub tamari or low-sodium soy sauce 1:1. Just be careful if you’re going to also add fish sauce, as that could make it a bit too salty.
Sticky Miso-Sesame Glazed Eggplant & Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
For the Miso-Sesame Glaze:
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut (or brown) sugar
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Prep the tofu by pressing to remove moisture by wrapping in a towel or paper towels and pressing between plates with a small weight on top.
- Prep the eggplant by washing and slicing into cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Allow both the eggplant & tofu to sit for 30 minutes. Dab eggplant gently with a towel to remove excess moisture.
- Cube tofu into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Coat with 1 tbsp arrowroot starch. Line a baking sheet (may need 2) with parchment paper and spread out the eggplant and tofu. Drizzle the eggplant with a small amount of oil. Bake for about 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and whisk well. Add to a small pan on the stove and heat on medium, stirring frequently, until desired consistency.
- Toss both the eggplant and tofu in a large bowl with the glaze.
- Optional: return to the baking sheets and broil (be careful broiling parchment paper!) until browned.
- Serve over steamed rice or vegetables. Top with sesame seeds and Thai basil leaves.