miso eggplant with green tea rice

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This week promises to be a frenetic one, with dinners, meetings, catch-ups and appointments. To that end, I’m feeling the need to retreat a little bit, to be pensive and get my proverbial house in order as I’ve got an interesting few weeks ahead of me. So pardon me if I’m short on words today, but perhaps this serene, healthy dish can provide some inspiration, as I work to quiet a lot of the ambient noise.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron
2 Japanese eggplants
1 bunch cilantro (1/4 cup chopped)
1 piece ginger (enough to fit onto a tablespoon measure)
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup sushi rice
2 tbsp white miso
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp green tea powder
1 tsp black sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS
Prepare your mise en place: Pre-heat your oven to 500F. Slice the eggplants in half, lengthwise, then width-wise. Rinse, dry + finely chop the cilantro. I tend to use a knife to rake the leaves off the stems as I’m stem-averse. Finely chop the garlic + ginger, set aside.

Cook the rice: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil on high. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain the rice and set aside. To be candid this is the first time I’ve cooked with rice without considering ratios, but perhaps this worked since I’m dealing with sushi rice.

Fix the eggplant topping: While the rice cooks, in a small bowl whisk the ginger, garlic, miso, mirin + half the soy sauce. Set aside. Lightly oil a baking sheet lined with tin foil {for easy clean-up}. Spoon the mixture on the flat side of each eggplant. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and the topping is lightly browned.

Finish the rice: Add the cooked rice back to the pot and mix in the rice vinegar, sugar, green tea powder, and chopped cilantro. I love how the green tea dyes the rice a sublime green, and the taste is spectacular and unexpectedly cool against the charred eggplant. Divide the eggplant and rice between two plates, serve + chow down!

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