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.
- 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.