miso grilled aubergine

Nasu dengaku (miso grilled aubergine)

  • serves 4 as a starter
  • A little effort

This riff on sweet 'n' sour miso grilled aubergine from Kurobuta, a tiny café-like space on Chelsea’s King’s Road, makes the perfect starter or side dish that looks impressive but is actually very easy.



  • Japanese rice vinegar 4 tbsp
  • caster sugar 1 tbsp 
  • kombu a small piece (optional)
  • yuzu ½, zested or 1 tsp juice (or use lime zest)
  • white radish (mooli) 1, peeled and thinly sliced
  • aubergine 1 large 
  • oil for deep frying
  • den miso 50ml (see below) 
  • walnuts 50g, roughly chopped
  • sesame seeds a pinch
  • sansho or Szechuan pepper a pinch 
  • lemon wedges to serve 
  • brown miso paste 100g
  • caster sugar 55g
  • sake 40ml
  • mirin 40ml 


  • Step 1

    To make the den miso, whisk the ingredients together until smooth.

  • Step 2

    Heat the vinegar, sugar, kombu and yuzu until the sugar dissolves. Season with salt. Toss the mooli with the mix, allow to cool, and chill for an hour.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Peel the aubergine, and cut into 3cm chunks. Heat the oil in a pan, no more than 2/3 full, to 180C or until a piece of bread browns in 20 seconds. Fry the aubergine until golden, about 3 minutes. Drain well on kitchen paper.

  • Step 4

    Coat the fried aubergine generously in the den miso, put onto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 2-4 minutes until the den miso caramelises – keep your eye on it as the sugar will burn quite easily. Drain it again on kitchen paper before putting it on a serving plate. Scatter with chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, and a pinch of sansho pepper. Serve with the mooli and lemon.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 254
  • Saturates 2.1g
  • Protein 4.4g