This dish was one of my staples at my old restaurant during the summertime. Japanese eggplants fry up beautifully and have such a rich/sweet flavor that pairs so well with pungent aka (red) miso. The Sweet 100 variety tomatoes add a perfect balance of acid to lighten the dish.
½ cup Horikawaya Nomura aka (red) miso
¼ cup sake
¼ cup mirin
Zest of one lemon
¼ teaspoon Yamastu Tsujita sansho
4 each Japanese eggplant, large, (6 if not large)
Oil for frying
¼ cup scallion, sliced thin
½ cup Sweet 100 tomatoes, cut in half
In a bowl mix the miso, sake and mirin until well combined, then over a double boiler cook the miso mixture until it hot and starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest and sansho, mix well and reserve.
Cut the eggplant in half down the center the long way. Then cut the eggplant in 2 to 3 pieces, each of which will probably be about 3 inches long. Now take those pieces and cut them in half or in 3 pieces. The main point is to make sure the eggplant is all cut about the same size so it will cook evenly.
Heat the frying oil until 350°F, then gently add the eggplant. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, moving them in the oil frequently for even cooking. Remove from the oil and drain.
In a bowl, gently toss the eggplant with the miso dressing and tomatoes, divide out on to serving plates/bowls. Garnish with the scallions.