Okay, here's an easy one. The Missus requested the "eggplant dish" from Okan, without the miso. It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't made this before. Having had some previous experience with simmering eggplant, I know they tend to disintergrate and get mushy quickly. So I turned to Shizuo Tsuji's classic book, Japanese Cooking: A Simple art. Even though this recipe is not from the book, I consider it a must for any Cooking Library. In the book, eggplants are scored lengthwise and fried in a pan before subjecting it to the simmering liquid.
This worked out better than expected. Scoring also helped the eggplant absorb the dashi. The Missus thought they were fantastic. The only problem now, is after making this, along with Gobo Salad and Kabocha Nimono, the Missus no longer sees a need in visiting Okan! I'll have to figure something out.....
6-8 Japanese Eggplant
2 Tb Canola Oil
2 Cups Dashi
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce - This time I used Kikkoman whole bean
1/4 Cup mirin
2 Tb Sugar
1 - Chop off the stems of the eggplant, than cut fine slits about 1/4 inch apart along the length of the eggplant.
2 - Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add oil, turning saucepan to make sure it is evenly coated.
3 - Add eggplant and fry until the skins wilt. Remove the eggplant from pan when done.
4 - Heat dashi, soy sauce, and mirin in a pan over medium heat. Add egglpant nad bring to a boil, than lower heat to a mild simmer.
5 - Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes and taste broth. Adjust flavors and finish simmering for another 5 minutes.
6 - Remove from heat, cool, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
7 - Slice the eggplant into 2-3 large slices before serving, pour a few tablespoons of the broth over the eggplant as well.Serve warm or cool.
Man that broth is good......