Nasu Miso (Miso Glazed Eggplant)

Posted by on July 22, 2010 in Announcements, Blog, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Vegetables & Vegetarian | 36 comments


Lately, I’ve been making dishes at home that I’ve enjoyed at some of my favorite restaurants, and nasu miso is no different. One of my favorite dishes at Fukada, a Japanese restaurant near the Irvine Spectrum in Orange County, serves a delicious side dish, nasu miso. It’s pan-fried eggplant dressed with a savory-sweet miso glaze. Some of you might be familiar with this dish as it is commonly found on Japaneseizakaya restaurant menus. A grilled version of this dish is known as nasu dengaku where the eggplant is grilled with a miso glaze.

When I was in college, I had a part-time job waiting tables at a Japanese restaurant in West Los Angeles. The food was delicious and it was one of my favorite restaurants in L.A. (I’m omitting the name because the ownership changed and the food is no longer noteworthy.) This was my first job waiting tables and I got the job because my BFF worked there and she graciously got me the job. I worked one night on the weekend but my tips and wages covered gas for my car, most of my car insurance (thanks mom and dad for paying the remainder) and spending money for the week. This was great for only working once a week for four hours. So the manager of this restaurant eventually moved on and opened his own restaurant in Orange County, Fukada! It’s a little strange that we knew one another in L.A., fast forward 10 years during which we never crossed paths and now we’re both in Orange County and once again his restaurant is one of my favorites!

Nasu miso is really easy to prepare especially if you already have the miso glaze in the freezer.

I use Nobu’s miso glaze recipe and always make extra and keep it in the freezer. It doesn’t solidify when frozen so it’s super easy to spoon a little out for nasu miso or a marinade for grilled salmon or Nobu’s famous miso black cod. I often make nasu miso as a side dish for simple chicken dishes, fish, or even noodles such as cold yamakake soba.

Nasu Miso

  • 3 to 4 eggplants, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoons canola oil
  • Nobu’s miso glaze (click here for recipe)
  • Roasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) In a large frying pan, heat oil and cook eggplant until tender. Cook about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. I like to brown the eggplant so that’s it’s almost carmelized. This adds great flavor to this dish!

2) Warm-up the miso glaze in the microwave for just 30 seconds so that it’s nice and warm. Spread a little bit over the length of the eggplant, then garnish with roasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately while hot.

I wanted to share with you a nice little gift I received from a family friend that was visiting from Japan not too long ago. Among a variety of other Japanese foods, our friend gave us these cute individually packaged servings of roasted white sesame seeds.

Goma Sesame

The Japanese come-up with all kinds of great little packaging ideas. I typically buy our sesame seeds in a large 8-oz plastic jar, but according to our friend, these smaller packets help to keep the sesame seeds fresh because they are packaged for single dish use. I only used half of one these packages to garnish our nasu miso and I thought the sesame seeds tasted very fresh!

Next, the award!

Last week I was presented with a lovely surprise from a new foodie friend, Alisha (a.k.a. Magic of Spice) from The Ardent Epicure. She graciously presented me with the Versatile Blogger Award. I am both humbled and honored to receive such recognition from such a talented blogger. Alicia and her two family members comprise this blogging team. They do a fabulous job showcasing delicious foods and desserts that will make your mouth water. Thank you, Alicia!

According to my loose translation of the guidelines for accepting this award, I will start by sharing a few things about myself and then recognize bloggers I’ve recently discovered that I think are fantastic.

Random Things About Myself

  1. I’m just your average gal who enjoys cooking but I primarily make Asian and family-friendly food that my mom used to make for my brother and I.
  2. I am terrified of spiders, especially the really meaty-looking ones that make a crunchy noise when someone else smushes them for me.
  3. I’ve almost burned down the kitchen. Twice. Once a dish towel caught on fire when I was a teen, and as recently as a week ago, a paper towel caught on fire.
  4. I am really good at folding very small gold foil paper cranes. Over the past decade, I’ve folded over a thousand for friends’ weddings, as well as my own.
  5. I am afraid of frying food. This should be a deterrent to making fried food, but unfortunately it doesn’t stop me from occasionally making wontons and tempura.
  6. I don’t want to be a mini-van mom. However, it looks like one day my sportier sedan will be exchanged for a roomier, family-friendly car where the car seat doesn’t take-up over half of the back seat rendering it useless to any other passengers.
  7. I love anything milk chocolate. See’s Candies milk chocolate almond buds (caramel & almonds) and strawberry creams are my favorite. I can eat a 1-pound box all by myself… maybe even a 2-pound box, if given the opportunity!

Since I started my blog this past March, I’ve met some really wonderful bloggers whom I’ve become bloggy-world-friends with. My food blog has become much more than just the family cookbook project that I originally intended it to be. It’s become a wonderful means of communicating and sharing a love of food with a diverse range of individuals. The past four months have been a wonderful experience. I truly wish that each day I had the time and energy to read more food blogs and discover more wonderful blogs. I am somewhat guilty of spending more time with ‘old friends’ and not as much time making ‘new friends’. That being said, I only have a very small handful of somewhat-recently-discovered blogs that I enjoy.

I present the Versatility Award to the following bloggers:

  1. Lemons and Anchovies – Jean, I enjoy reading your blog and I always look forward to your next food posts. Photos are gorgeous and food is always excellent.
  2. Korean American Mommy – Lisa, always a pleasure to see what’s cooking in your kitchen and I love the photos of your adorable son.
  3. She’s Cookin’ – Priscilla, you’ve got great recipes and I love that you write for one of our local magazines. I’m so glad I discovered your blog!
  4. Acquired Taste – Rochelle, you’ve been on my foodie friend list for a while, but I only recently started visiting your blog more regularly. Always a pleasure to see what you’re cooking and photos are always beautiful.
  5. The Hungry Artist – Melissa, you’re so creative and I love your recipes, especially the ones where your son helps you in the kitchen. You’re creating such great memories for him!

To my award winners, please feel free to enjoy your award in any way that you’d like. I’m not a stickler for guidelines. That’s it for today… nasu miso and an award!


Judy | bebe mama


Nasu Miso (Miso Glazed Eggplant)
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side Dish
  • 3 to 4 eggplants, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoons canola oil
  • Nobu's miso glaze (see Recipe page on my blog)
  • Roasted sesame seeds for garnish
  1. In a large frying pan, heat oil and cook eggplant until tender. Cook about 3 - 4 minutes on each side. I like to brown the eggplant so that's it's almost carmelized. This adds great flavor to this dish!
  2. Warm-up the miso glaze in the microwave for just 30 seconds so that it's nice and warm. Spread a little bit over the length of the eggplant, then garnish with roasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately while hot.


  1. avatar

    Congrats on the award, Judy!!

    Yokatta ne! Nasubi…..YUCK!! One of my pet peeves! I won’t be trying this recipe! LOL Might share it with my mom.


    • avatar

      Thanks, friend! You’re so funny! I believe nasubi is hit or miss with a lot of people. When I was a kid nasubi made my throat itch and my lips tingly-itchy too, but I ate it anyway because I loved it so much. Now, I don’t have any side effects from it. :)

  2. avatar

    First the food. I am excited about your mention of Fukada, have heard great things and have thought several times to give it a try, and now I will. For this dish…a favorite of mine, I have never repaired this my self but now I can give it a try. Yours looks wonderful…As for the award you are more than welcome and more than deserving:) Thank you for the kind words about us, we are very pleased. Also,I am excited to see some blogs that you have passed this on to that I am quite familiar with, and a couple of new ones for me to check out. Have a wonderful evening, Alisha

    • avatar

      Thanks, Alisha! Fukada is definitely worth a visit. Let me know how you like it. My favorite dish to eat in the winter is nabeyaki and tenzaru in the summer. :)

  3. avatar

    Thanks Judy!
    It’s an honor — especially from you — I love your blog and all the wonderful Japanese recipes you post. :)

    • avatar

      You’re so welcome, and thank YOU for the kind words!

  4. avatar

    Yum, this looks delicious :) I love eggplant!
    Now I’m super curious what restaurant it was that you worked for!

    • avatar

      I’m almost certain you would know this restaurant!

  5. avatar

    Thank you Judy! I love awards (=

  6. avatar

    Judy, besides your eggplant dish looking fabulous, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you including me on this list. Thank you so much–you already know how I feel about your blog. :-)

  7. avatar

    You’re so sweet – thanks for including me in your blog awards :) I’ve made miso-glazed salmon before (and posted the recipe), but I’ve never used it for eggplant – must try, esp. since I have Japanese eggplant in my garden right now. Thanks, Judy! P.S. I follow Magic of Spice/Ardent Epicure and Lemons and Anchovies, too – and will check out your other favorites – have a great weekend!

  8. avatar

    congrats on your award ;)
    my mom has been giving us nasu from her garden and we just bake it, peel and put katsuo on but we’ll have to try this recipe out ;)
    see you soon.

    • avatar

      Thanks! I should try baking it in the oven. My mom used to grill it then we’d eat it with katsuo and shoyu. I loved the grilled flavor the nasu.

  9. avatar

    congrats on the award! and miso glazed eggplant, yum!

  10. avatar

    Awesome award and I do love this dish as well. I only order when Im out in a Japanese place…

  11. avatar

    wow, that looks awesome. congrats for the award! have a great weekend!

  12. avatar

    You’ve piqued my interest in the miso glaze. Sounds versatile for many dishes.

    Congrats on your award and the fine bloggers you’ve included.

  13. avatar

    Congrats on the award, well deserved. I love your miso eggplant recipe…and I have a spider phobia too, they gross me out to an extreme.

    • avatar

      Thanks, Silvia! I know, aren’t spiders just awwwwwful!!!

  14. avatar

    Congratulations on the award, well deserved.
    Grilled eggplant glazed with miso is always a favorite of mine. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  15. avatar

    Congrats on your award! I like the miso glaze as it is good with all kinds of meats and veges. Eggplant is definitely one of them. This looks delicious!

    • avatar

      Thanks, Biren! Yes, the glaze is so versatile it’s one of my favorites too. :)

  16. avatar

    Uh Oh. Seemed like I missed quite a bit on your blog. Oops sorry Judy!

    Congrats on the awards! I like the eggplant dish too. I just saw the similar dish from the Japanese Mag that I’m planning to make. Perfect!

    Hey I worked as a wait at a Thai restaurant when I was in school too :D

    • avatar

      Thanks, Tanantha! We seem to have several things in common. :)

  17. avatar

    Hi again Judy!

    Just wanted to say that I love the new “look” of your blog!

    • avatar

      Hi there! Thanks, Melissa! I’m still in blog-identity-crisis mode. I wish that someone would design my website for me (for free) and/or create a unique image for my header. Oh well, wishful thinking! I will continue to try different themes until I find one I like. Not good for my brand image, but again, oh well! :)

  18. avatar

    Just found your site and I can’t wait to try this eggplant recipe. I am always looking for new ways to cook it.

    • avatar

      Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoy the eggplant. :)