Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and cut into 1.5 cm pieces.*Soak in salt water to get rid of the bitterness.
Note: Pre-soaking the eggplant in salt water for 30 minutes to 1 hour also prevents it from absorbing oil when it cooks.
Rinse the eggplant from Step 1 and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut the thinly sliced pork in 2-3 cm wide pieces. Finely slice the leek.
Prepare the dengaku miso (Recipe ID: 1716785) using the amounts given for the red miso version. This recipe is easy, since you only need to mix it together.
Pour sesame oil into a pan to a depth of about half the thickness of the eggplant slices (a little less than 1 cm), heat, then fry the eggplant.
Turn over the eggplant once it browns. When the eggplant becomes slightly tender, transfer it to plate lined with a few paper towels.
Thoroughly drain the excess oil with the paper towels.
Note: Be careful not to overcook the eggplant in Step 7, or it will lose its shape.
Note: In Step 7, press down on the eggplant with chopsticks to check whether it is cooked through.
Wipe off the excess oil from the frying pan used to cook the eggplant, add the pork from Step 4, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat.
Once the pork is cooked and browned, turn off the heat. *Discard any excess grease that is cooked out of the meat.
Add the oil-drained eggplant from Step 8, 4 tablespoons of the dengaku miso made in Step 5, and the roasted sesame seeds. Gently stir it all together, so as not to crush the eggplant.
Add the finely sliced white leek, then stir and cook over medium heat. Taste and add another tablespoon of dengaku miso, if needed.
It's ready to serve. The photo shows it sprinkled with lots of shichimi spice. Recommended for grown-ups...
Soft eggplant and pork covered with dengaku miso is delicious. It goes well with rice or with drinks.
Serve it chilled in the summer. It also makes a perfect bento item.
Dengaku miso Recipe ID: 1716785 makes 5-6 tablespoons.
Prepare extra degaku miso if you plan to make a large portion of this dish, or if you are going to add other ingredients. Degaku miso can be frozen.
Meltingly soft eggplant is so good. This is "Basic Grilled Eggplamt" Recipe ID: 1845485 Give it a try...
Recipe ID: 1860080 "Deep Fried and Marinated Eggplant" Try this one, too!
Story Behind this Recipe
For my husband, who loves red miso and eggplant... Right now (since last year), I'm in the middle of compiling our family's favorite recipes. I've been uploading recipes for my own use, and to be able to explain them to friends.
*Be careful not to let the eggplant get too soft in Step 7. If they're too soft, they'll lose their shape. *Adjust the amount of sugar in the dengaku miso to taste. *Green peppers, konnyaku, and mushrooms are good additions.