Anh's recipe caught my eye a few months ago. Two flavor powerhouses- tahini (sesame seed paste) and miso come together to make a rich marinade that is slathered on thick cuts of eggplant and tofu. Under the broiler, the tofu and vegetables are grilled to perfection.
I feel very sheepish admitting it here, but I only "discovered" the broiler a couple of months ago. Standard oven ranges that are found in the majority of US kitchens come with an oven. Although I will probably always be much more comfortable with stove-top cooking, it did not take me very long to start using the oven frequently. In all homes that I have lived in up to this point, the oven also has a mysterious little door at the very bottom- the broiler. Turning the oven to its "broil" function starts up a roaring fire close to the broiler. Any food that is placed in the broiler gets quickly cooked by infrared radiation and gets nicely browned to a crisp finish (and nicely charred to a lump of carbon if you turn your attention away for a few minutes).
Anyway, it has taken me years to "discover" the broiler and to start using it and enjoying it. It all sounds so silly, and I felt downright foolish until I found that she also discovered the broiler only recently. Now I feel a little better :) Anyway, knowing how to broil opens up lots of possibilities for turning out perfectly browned vegetables, melting crusty cheese, creme brulee with the crackly crust and all the rest of that.
Back to the recipe at hand. I mixed together the marinade without actually measuring out any of the ingredients; just eyeballing them. I also did not use skewers but will do so next time I make this- they do make for such a pretty presentation. Thicker slices of eggplant taste very juicy and delicious.
Miso-Slathered Tofu and Eggplant
1. Take one medium eggplant and slice it into thick slices. Drain 1 box of extra-firm tofu and cut it into thick slabs. Pat the slabs to wick off as much liquid as possible.
2. In a small saucepan, combine tahini, white miso, sugar, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and vegetable stock (all to taste) to make a thick paste. Warm the sauce until the ingredients blend together well. Set aside.
3. Lightly grease a broiler-safe pan and turn on the broiler. Lay the slices of eggplant in a single layer. Smear each slice with the marinade and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil for 5 minutes or so, until the top is starting to brown. Turn over, smear again with marinade and broil until tender.
4. Broil the tofu the same way, although tofu takes slightly less time.
5. Serve right away!
I served the broiled tofu and eggplant with some fried rice made with brown rice, for a delicious and wholesome meal. Each bite of the luscious tofu and eggplant brings home the meaning of the word "umami".
Other ideas for cooking tofu with miso:
My friend Kamini recommends this Miso Baked Tofu recipe.
Skillet Seared Tofu with Miso Sauce- Deborah Madison's recipe shared on "Albion Cooks".
This Nobu style Tofu with Miso Sauce sounds delicious too.
Last call for the Menu for Hope 4- Go grab those awesome prizes by buying raffle tickets here (and share a nutritious meal with a little schoolchild in the bargain).
Best of 2007: All food bloggers are invited to showcase the year of food on their blog. The deadline for the event is December 30th.
(My attempt at) A sweet and crunchy treat will be coming up in a couple of days. See you then!