Nasu Dengaku (Eggplant Steak with Miso Sauce)
Dengaku (田楽) is a grilled dish of skewered tofu or konnyaku with miso paste. It is also called “dengaku-yaki” or “miso dengaku and is one of the dishes that have been eaten in various parts of Japan since ancient times. The name “Dengaku” is said to have originated from the Heian period (794-1185) custom of praying for a good harvest in farming villages called “Dengaku-mai”.
In this “Dengaku-mai” dance, the dancers wear white hakama and jump on a single stick. The name “dengaku-mai” comes from the resemblance of the tofu skewered on a stick in this costume.
“Dengaku-mai” declined during the Muromachi period (1333-1573), and is now performed as a folk art at shrines in some areas.
Originally, dengaku was a dish of tofu with miso paste, but gradually variations have been added, such as using vegetables or river fish as ingredients.
Ingredients (2 servings):
1 Tbsp (15ml) Vegetable oil or Sesame oil
3 Tbsp (30ml) Miso *Dark-blown
2 Tbsp (30ml) Sugar
1 Tbsp (15ml) Sake
1 Tbsp (15ml) Mirin
1 Tbsp (15ml) Dashi soup stock
3 leaves Shiso *Japanese basil
Ginger paste, to your taste
White sesame, as needed *Roasted seeds
1. Put all the ingredients (A) in a pot and simmer gently until it thickens. Turn off the heat and set aside.
2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthways. Then, cut the bottom of them a little bit.
Run a knife around the inside of the eggplant, loosing the skin from the flesh. Score the flat surface.
3. Soak the eggplant in a water to take out the scum. Wipe them with kitchen towel.
4. Wrap them with plastic cellophane and microwave for 2 minutes. (600W)
*You can also put them in a heat-resistance container.
5. Heat the oil in a pan. Then, put the eggplant with cutting side down and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
Turn over the eggplant, put the lid and steam it with low heat for another 5 minutes.
6. Serve on a plate and top with miso sauce, white sesame, Japanese basil and ginger paste.