Soft eggplant and crunchy piman (small green peppers) braised in a sweet yet savory miso sauce: this dish is all about contrasting tastes and textures harmonizing in your mouth.
This Japanese recipe is a typical osouzai, or everyday side dish – it’s quick, easy, yummy, and goes well with rice!
If you can’t find the small Japanese piman, go ahead and use green bell peppers instead, using half the amount and slicing into eights lengthwise. The same goes for the eggplant. Japanese eggplant tend to be long and thin, and become melty soft when cooked. If using other varieties, cut into bite-size pieces.
The flavour of white miso is milder than red miso, so it’s a better match for the sweetness of this dish, and allows the taste of the vegetables to shine. However you may prefer to use red or mixed miso if you like a strong salty and umami taste, to contrast the sweetness. Or try both, and develop your miso palate!
Heat a frying pan to medium-high, add the vegetable oil and stir fry the eggplant for a couple of minutes. Cover with a lid and lower to medium, allowing the eggplant to steam for 3 minutes.
Add the piman and stir fry for a few minutes, making sure not to overcook – it should provide a contrast in texture with the soft eggplant.
Add the sweet miso sauce mixture to the pan and continue stir frying until the liquid has almost evaporated.