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stuffed miso eggplant (nikumiso dengaku)

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

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Instructions

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Step 1

Make the dengaku sauce by whisking together the sugar, sake, and hatcho miso.

Step 2

Preheat about 3-inches of oil to 350 F (175 C) in a heavy-bottomed pot.

Step 3

Trim the stem end of the eggplants off.

Step 4

Use a peeler to peel alternating strips of skin off of the eggplant to create a striped pattern.

Step 5

Slice the bottom off of the eggplants, and then cut them in half. The eggplants should stand up relatively straight. If they don't, keep trimming them until they sit flat.

Step 6

Use a small spoon to carve the center out of the wide end of each piece of eggplant. Be sure to leave a 1/2-inch border around the sides, as well as at the bottom.

Step 7

Use a small spoon to carve out the center of each eggplant to make cups, but leave about 2cm of flesh on the sides and bottom.

Step 8

Deep fry the eggplant, giving each one a few full turns in the oil to set the color of the skin before adding the next one. They'll tend to float, so continue turning them, so they cook through evenly.

Step 9

When the eggplant can be easily pierced with a skewer, transfer them to a paper towel-lined rack with the carved side facing down to drain.

Step 10

To make the nikumiso, saute the ginger with a teaspoon of vegetable oil until it's fragrant.

Step 11

Add the ground pork and use a spatula to crumble it up until it is mostly cooked through.

Step 12

If you have a lot of oil pooling in your pan, use some dry paper towels to soak up the extra grease.

Step 13

Add the dengaku sauce and stir-fry until there is very little liquid remaining, and it no longer smells like alcohol.

Step 14

Stuff the fried eggplant with the nikumiso and garnish with chopped scallions.