Miso eggplant with rice noodles {vegan}12

Posted on September 24, 2012 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with my wok the past few weeks.

I often get into an obsession with one appliance or cooking utensil and use it over and over until I’m sick of it. Do you do that?

For the past fortnight it has been my wok. I’ve used it for stir frying (obviously), steaming, deep frying (oops, naughty) and making omelettes.

They are GREAT for making omelettes. You know the chunky oval ones that chefs make at hotel buffet breakfasts where they push all the egg mixture to one corner and the result is a fat, fluffy cylinder of egg? Those. Are. Yum. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, watch this.

But back to today’s recipe.

It’s only been a few short months, but I’m already craving really good Japanese food from Sydney. So when I saw some beautiful glossy Japanese eggplants at the farmers market last weekend I immediately starting thinking about one of my favourite Japanese dishes: grilled eggplant with miso sauce.

I was craving a big umami hit, and secretly hoping my attempt would be even half as good as the ones at Toko or Uchi Lounge.

But then when it came to dinner time, I realised that, actually, I fancied noodles – and there was some leftover kale to use up.

So I got out my trusty wok with the vague notion that I would ‘do something with eggplant, miso, kale and rice noodles’.

I just love cooking by the seat of my pants!

The deep frying of the eggplant is not entirely necessary, but I really love the silky texture it creates. Skip it if you are watching your weight.

If you don’t have kale, substitute with bok choy, gai larn, basil or just leave the green element out completely if you are one of those weirdos that doesn’t like them. Sorry, that was a bit harsh on you. Apologies.

In the end it wasn’t the dish I originally craved, but was definitely a great mid-week dinner to whip up in a hurry, and just perfect for Meatless Mondays!

What is your favourite Japanese dish? And do you use your wok often?

Christie x

Miso eggplant with rice noodles

serves 2 (can be doubled or tripled)

  • 2 Japanese eggplants (300g), sliced into 1 cm discs
  • 3 tablespoons white (shiro) miso paste
  • 1.5 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) mirin
  • 30ml (1/8 cup) sake or white wine
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) cold tap water
  • 250ml (1 cup) rice bran or vegetable oil
  • 1 small bunch kale (100g), washed and roughly chopped
  • 200g dried rice noodles, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drained
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and cover with cold tap water. Allow to soak while you make the sauce. This is a Japanese method for removing the bitterness from eggplant.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the miso paste, sugar, mirin, sake (or wine) and water into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth then bring to the boil, stirring often. Boil hard for 2 minutes then turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring often. Set aside.

3. Drain the eggplant and wrap up in a clean tea towel. Pat to thoroughly dry. This is important to ensure they don’t splatter too much in the next step.

4. Heat a wok until smoking, then pour in the oil. Allow to heat for 2 minutes until very hot. Carefully slide in the eggplant pieces using a large metal slotted spoon – careful they will spit! Deep fry* for 3-4 minutes until very silky soft and and golden. Removed with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Drain the wok of oil and wipe clean.

5. Heat the wok again. Place the eggplant back into the wok, along with the kale. Stir fry for 1 minute until the kale is wilted. Pour over the sauce  and throw in the pre-soaked rice noodles. Stir gently, trying not to break up the eggplant. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

*It is possible to skip this step if you like. Simply add only 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and stir fry the eggplant for 3-4 minutes until soft and golden instead. Proceed with step 5 by adding the kale.

Looking for more eggplant recipes? You might like these:

  • Wow another stunner recipe! I looove eggplant and rice noodles, never would have thought of pairing the two! I don’t use my wok nearly enough (but that’s mostly because we have an electric stove and I reckon woks work best on gas, oh, how I want gas lol).. My fave Japanese dish is without a doubt curry udon! But I also love teriyaki salmon, agedashi tofu and tuna sushi. Mmm so good!

    • Thanks Christine! You’re right, they work so much better on gas. Mmm, I loooove agedashi tofu too!

  • I love this dish! Eggplants are my fave and combine with the miso and noodles, you have def won my heart :)

    • Glad to hear that Nic! I just love rice noodles too – that slippery, chewy texture gets me every time ;)

  • Ohh this looks yummy. Will have to stick it on my to make list.

    We have only just gotten a wok. Still getting used to it, think we have already killed the first one. But getting there slowly.

    • Hi Leigh – are you using gas or electricity? Also, most importantly – did you season your wok first? This keeps it good for life if you do it initially and then every time you use it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then google ‘season wok’ there are loads of videos online :)

  • Katherine

    Wow! This must be delish, and good for you. I love my wok too. I can’t wait to make this dish.

    • Hi Katherine, Let me know how it turns out for you! :)

  • This will have to be a lunch time dish for me, my husband is one of those weirdos who hates most greens and refuses to touch eggplants. How sad! However, its all good for me cause I can have seconds of your yummy dish :)

  • I go through periods of using my wok. But I haven’t used it in a while but I’ve got some coriander stems that need using so they’ll be perfect for a stir fry!

  • Yum I just love miso eggplant!

  • I love cooking by the seat of my pants, too! Your dish looks incredible – eggplant and miso are so good together.

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