Spicy, creamy, rich and vegetarian, this miso braised eggplant dish is not your average eggplant dinner. What I love about this one is it is really hard to mess up! While there are steps involved, this recipe is not difficult and is perfect for a weeknight dinner or really, any occasion.
I know that many people just do not care for eggplant because of its earthy, slightly bitter flavor and because it can be spongy if not cooked thoroughly.
My son absolutely hates it, even after many rounds of yummy eggplant parmesan!
Having found this recipe in Bon Appetit recently, I had to beg to differ yet again, and this time, he actually ate it – all of it! I altered the toppings just a tad, with the addition of coconut.
For those who don’t like eggplant for the above reasons, this recipe solves for both, ensuring the eggplant is richly flavored and also very tender, while also delivering the vegetable “main dish” heartiness that eggplant lends.
But if you STILL have doubts and don’t like eggplant, you may substitute zucchini. Zucchini doesn’t taste quite as “umami” in this recipe, but it will require a little less oil. I’ve made both versions and they are both good!
A final note: I love to change up the noodles used in this recipe – my favorites being homemade linguini or whole wheat spaghetti. I used homemade linguini in the featured photo, and it was outstanding!
Miso Braised Spicy Eggplant and Noodles
- Large pot
- Small bowl
- 1 one inch piece fresh ginger minced
- 1 medium eggplant sliced 3/4 inch thick, skin intact
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 3 tbsp Gochujang may substitute red curry paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 scallions sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh coconut shavings
- Mix gochujang, miso, and 1½ cups warm water in a small bowl until blended. Set aside.
- Boil pasta in salted water on high until al dente. Drain.
- Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high (I do not recommend cast iron for this, as eggplant will stick heavily).
- Add eggplant and sear, drizzling with another 1 to 2 tbsp. oil.
- Season eggplant lightly with salt and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown for several minutes.
- Turn eggplant over and continue to cook until most of the eggplant are golden and becoming tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- In same pan, reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, garlic, and ginger to skillet, stirring often until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste, stir, and cook until slightly darkened, about 1 minute.
- Stir in gochujang mixture, combining well, and return eggplant to skillet.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is very tender, about 6 minutes.
- To gochujang mixture add noodles and butter, seasoning with salt as needed.
- Cook until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove to plate or individual bowls.
- Scatter noodles with scallions, coconut, and peanuts.