Grilled eggplant – or aubergine – is kicked up with a miso ginger glaze before grilling or broiling. This is our favorite tasty addition to a barbecue party. 

Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant

Do you like eggplant? (Or, as my fancy European husband calls it, “aubergine”; oh, la de dah.) I really like eggplant. In fact, until recently, I had no idea that so many people really, really, really hate it. I know, shocking! (I’m easily shocked).

If you find yourself in the “hate” camp, might I respectfully suggest that maybe you just haven’t found the right recipe yet? (I’m a total hypocrite because celery is my Kryptonite and there is nothing and no one that will make me change my mind about that).

But we’re talking about you here. Don’t try to change the subject.

To be fair, it can be a little tricky to work with. If you’ve ever tried to cook eggplant with very little oil (I have), it becomes tough and leathery. No thanks. If you use too much oil, it can be greasy and heavy. Also no thanks.

That’s why I either like to roast it in a hot oven or, even better, grill it. Both methods work well because you can control exactly how much oil to use, allowing it to become tender and charred, without soaking up cups of oil. We’d like to show you our favorite way to make grilled eggplant.

Let’s talk about the sauce – or properly, a glaze, with the flavors of miso and ginger. For me, the pairing of eggplant and miso is one of those perfect things. It’s like peanut butter and jelly (or peanut butter and chocolate, for that matter). Hey, now I want peanut butter.

In winter months, I roast eggplant in the oven, brush on the miso glaze and then run it under the broiler until it caramelizes. Now that it’s grilling season, it’s even easier. And there you go: grilled eggplant for a BBQ side or a light lunch. The next time you have a barbecue party, invite us over and you know what we’ll be bringing!

Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant

Nerd Tips:

  • Usually the smaller the eggplant, the sweeter it will be so avoid the mammoth supermarket ones.
  • In season, the farmers’ market can be a great place to find different varieties.
  • This method works extremely well with long thin Japanese eggplants (slice in half lengthwise and grill or roast until tender).
  • You can peel them if you want, but grilled eggplant skin is totally edible.
  • If an eggplant is large or has a lot of seeds, you can salt it to get some of the bitterness out. With small ones, I rarely bother. (Sprinkle generously with salt and let it sit in a colander for 10 minutes up to a couple of hours. Then rinse and pat dry).

Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 small to medium eggplants, cut into ½ inch slices
  • Vegetable oil for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh pepper
  • ¼ cup white miso
  • 4 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and the next 5 ingredients. Stir in 2 teaspoons water to loosen a little.
  2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Generously brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on grill, and cook until softened and brown, 5 - 6 minutes. Flip eggplant slices, and cook until browned on bottom.
  3. Smear top of eggplant slices with a thin layer of miso sauce and cook 1 minute longer. Remove to a serving platter, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle any extra miso sauce on top.