This quite simple Japanese recipe is really delicious and I like it very much now, but for sometimes I hated it because the first time I tried to prepare it, it was a terrible failure. The first and only time I prepared something to eat that ended up in the trash because it was not edible. I surely made a mess of this delicious recipe! Probably a problem with the mastering of Japanese ingredients at the timeand the proportions! Indeed when we arrived in Japan, cooking was a quite interesting task and grocery shopping an even more startling! Almost every evening we would go to our local supermarket and starre at what at that time we found strange mushrooms, awkward fruits and unknown fishes. So after a few weeks I decided to buy a beginners Japanese cooking book and to try most of the recipes to get familiar with techniques and basic products. The book I picked was in English of course and was clearly written for foreigners, so it was really helpful! However most of the recipes in this book make use of mirin (together with sugar), a Japanese cooking ingredient that I find unify the taste and is not very interesting (a bit like glutamate in Chinese cuisine). So I will give you my version of miso eggplant, the one that is just perfect and doesn't use mirin.
For two as a side dish I use 1 or 2 Japanese eggplants (they are quite small); a spoon of miso; a tea spoon of grounded sesame or "surigoma"; a little of vegetal oil. After removing the stems and cutting in halves the eggplants, fry them in a very very thin layer of oil. In the mean time, mix the miso the sesame and a very little of oil if necessary to obtain a paste. Once the eggplants are cooked, set them on a serving plate and delicately spread the paste to obtain a thin layer. Decorate with a little of sesame. You can also set the eggplants on a cooking shit, spread the miso, and grill them 3 min in the oven to obtain a roasted miso thin crust.