There are two things that I go to for energy revival when travelling, miso & beer. Lovely fermented liquids that give me a bit of a kick start. All I need is a bowl of miso, to sip and feel like my gut is revitalized. Beer does exactly the same thing, but I need to be aware of what I’m doing after drenching my innards with a long tall cool one. Usually it is my go to after a long travel.
Miso is an amazing food. Not only does it give you a boost, but it has so much umami that it easily transforms many a vegetarian dish into something so rich and fulfilling, that you won’t miss the meat.
The original recipe for this stew came in BBC Good Food’s cleansing edition last January. We’ve made it many times always enjoying its robust flavours.
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
1 eggplant, about 14-18 oz or 400-500 gr, nice and firm
2 T miso paste (red or brown)
1 yam, about the same weight as the eggplant
1” chunk of fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, sliced thinly
Boiling water (added in 3 parts during the cooking process – about 14 oz / 400ml total)
1 T olive oil
pinch of salt
6-8 green onions, sliced on the diagonal, about 1½” long
Heat the oven to 350°
Using your fingers or the back of a spoon spread the miso paste all over the outside of the peeled eggplant.
Lightly oil a roasting tin, and place the miso-covered eggplant in the center.
Arrange the yam pieces around the eggplant.
Sprinkle the ginger and garlic over all.
Gently add in 1 cup/225 ml of boiling water.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes.
Add in just over ½ cup/125 ml of water to the base of the vegetables.
Continue baking for another 20 minutes.
Check the eggplant by inserting a knife. It should slide in easily.
To finish: slice the eggplant crosswise into fairly thick steaks, about 1”, and nestle into the yams & stock.
Note: many miso pastes have wheat or barley in them. If cooking for a gluten free diet, find a paste that uses rice or other alternate grains.