This miso glazed aubergine (eggplant) is SO amazingly delicious. The glaze is loaded with flavor and the baked aubergine turns into a creamy and buttery texture that's very addictive. Also, this is a simple and easy recipe that does not require lots of prep. Perfect served with rice or noodles and it is a fully vegan recipe.
Oh my friend, this miso glazed aubergine is absolutely amazing. There are some recipes I make for the blog I am more in awe with, and this is definitely one of them. It is actually quite simple to make, but the pairing of ingredients is what makes this recipe so special.
The miso glaze is a little sweet with a subtle tang and carries such an incredible umami flavor I simply cannot get enough of.
But what I like most about this recipe is how it actually embraces the aubergine's natural texture. Have you had to cover an eggplant in salt or soak it in water and roast it a very specific way so the squash has a texture that's pleasant? Not here: the spongy texture and high water content from the aubergine makes this recipe surprisingly perfect.
The glaze soaks within the scored aubergine while baking in the oven and then combines with the flesh to give a soft, creamy and almost buttery vegetable that's shockingly loaded with flavor. I love how the cubes of aubergine turn juicy but stay plump while forming a nice caramelized crust.
I find it hard to stop eating it once out from the oven. Really.
It makes for such a beautiful vegetable side dish, but I also like to serve it with rice and chickpeas as seen in the pictures to make it a full meal. The sauce that comes out from the baked aubergine really is out of this world and flavors whatever I serve it with. You can scrape the veggie out of its shell as you eat, so yummy and fun.
I truly love this recipe and I hope you give it a try! ❤️
Japanese inspired dish
I just wanted to share that this dish is actually a Japanese inspired recipe. A classic dish called Nasu Dengaku is very similar to this one, although usually roasted over fire as opposed to in the oven. The ingredients also differ slightly and usually include mirin, sake and sometimes ginger.
Both this miso glazed aubergine and the traditional Nasu Dengaku give you a salty, soft and caramelized eggplant that's normally simply sliced in half before covering with the glaze and roasting.
Ingredients you'll need
- Miso paste: Essential for a thick, salty and umami-packed flavor to the glaze. Miso also caramelizes well. Do not swap this ingredient!
- Soy sauce: Adds more saltiness and umami flavor.
- Maple syrup: Makes it sweeter and helps balance the rich-in-flavor ingredients from the glaze. The added sugar also helps the aubergine caramelize.
- Sesame oil: Mostly for flavor, but can be omitted if you don't have it or want to make it oil-free.
- Rice vinegar: Adds a tangy flavor and pairs well with the other Asian ingredients.
- Garlic: For flavor.
- Aubergine (eggplant): You can use either one large or 2 small. Look for an eggplant that's firm and not bruised. If using the skinny and long Japanese eggplant, then use 2 or even 3 if they are really small. I used one large black aubergine (American or globe aubergine) for this recipe, which was perfect for the amount of glaze.
What is miso and what kind to use
Miso paste is a traditional ingredient used in Japanese cuisine and consists of fermented soy beans (using salt and the fungi Koji). It does have a powerful savory flavor, so a little goes a long way. It is actually high-in-protein and other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
You can find miso paste easily in most grocery stores, simply look in the tofu/produce section in the fridge. I used the white miso paste from Miso Master Organic, but a red miso paste (more soybean than rice and ferments longer) will work too.
More miso recipes to try
- Oil-free miso potatoes
- Ramen miso soup
- Kimchi ramen soup
- Miso tempeh
- Cabbage miso soup
- Eggplant miso soup
How to make it
Start by pre-heating the oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make the glaze
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the miso paste, soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, maple syrup and sesame oil (if using). Stir well to dissolve the miso paste, you should end up with a creamy mixture. Set aside.
Prepare the aubergine
Clean and dry the aubergine and slice off the edge with the stem. Then, slice the whole aubergine lengthwise.
Then, using the pointy extremity of a sharp knife, score the flesh of the eggplant lengthwise twice or three times. Go all the way through the flesh, but don't cut through the skin. Then, also slice perpendicularly to the slices you just did a few times to create cubes of about 1-2 inches (criss-cross pattern). You want the pieces to still be holding onto the skin of the eggplant underneath.
Glaze and bake
Then, brush the flesh with about half of the glaze trying to also let the glaze squeeze into the cracks you created. Keep the other half of the glaze for later.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Then, take out of the oven and brush most of the remaining glaze. If your eggplant isn't that big, then you might be left with some extra glaze, which is amazing to drizzle over salads, rice or in sandwiches. Bake for 5-10 more minutes or until caramelized to your taste. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
What to serve with miso glazed eggplant
Serve as a main meal or vegetable side dish. We love it over rice or quinoa as the aubergine gets saucy and combines with the grain to make each bite so delicious. Would also be amazing over Asian style noodles such as soba, ramen, udon or glass noodles.
I even used leftovers in a sandwich wrap and it really added a ton of flavors. Works well too over buddha or grain bowls and even in tacos. Also nice to serve with a green salad.
Try to keep some extra glaze to drizzle over your dish. Also, sprinkle some sesame seeds and sliced green onions or chives over when serving.
Keep leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It does get softer over time, which still works well.
Use leftovers in sandwiches: you can simply mash the miso glazed aubergine over the bread or wrap, which will bring lots of amazing buttery texture and flavor.
No! There is minimal preparation for the eggplant in this recipe.
Yes you can, but the aubergine is a little caramelized and even crusty on top when just out of the oven, which is great paired with the tender middle. If making it ahead, you will have an overall softer results when reheating it.
No (regular soy sauce isn't gluten-free). To make it GF, simply swap the soy sauce for tamari. Although most miso paste are gluten-free, just make sure the miso paste you are using includes a grain that's gluten-free as well.
More vegetable side dishes you might like
- Mashed purple sweet potatoes
- Roasted miso potatoes
- Zucchini fritters
- Vegan cauliflower casserole
- Mashed potato stuffed mushrooms
- Mushroom couscous
I hope you like this baked miso aubergine as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Miso Glazed Aubergine
- 1 large aubergine (eggplant) - or 2 small
- 2 tbsp miso paste - white or red
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 large garlic clove - crushed
- 1½ tbsp maple syrup - or agave nectar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil - optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 400º.
- In a bowl, whisk together the miso paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil and garlic. Keep whisking until there are no clumps remaining.
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise. Then, score the eggplant forming small squares within the flesh, but while leaving the skin uncut. Start by doing 3-4 longer cuts lengthwise, then slices a few times perpendicularly to them (criss-cross pattern).
- Place the eggplant on the baking sheet with the cuts faced up. Brush about half of the glaze over allowing it to fall in the cuts. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Take the aubergine out and brush some more of the glaze over (you might have a little more than you need, use the leftover to drizzle over rice or other vegetables). Bake for 5-10 more minutes or until nicely caramelized.
- Serve over rice or noodles or use as a side dish with some green onion and sesame seeds.
- Storage: keep leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat using the microwave or oven (at 400º until heated through).
- I used the white miso paste from Miso Master Organic, but any kind will work.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, swap the soy sauce for tamari and make sure your miso paste uses a grain that's also GF (most miso paste are GF).