Sunday, August 19, 2012

Donabe Steam-fried Eggplant, Tofu, and Pork in Black Miso Sauce

Eggplant, Tofu, and Pork...perfect trio to cook in miso sauce.
I call the sauce "black miso sauce", because it's a mixture of Hatcho Miso (soybean-based dark miso) and soy sauce with other ingredients.  The mixture gives such nice depth in flavor.  But, if you can't find Hatcho Miso, you can substitute it with regular red miso.

For this recipe, I use my Tagine-style Donabe, "Fukkura-san", which does the wonderful steam-fry cooking.  Just like other donabe, this donabe can be served right at the table to make a beautiful presentation.

Donabe Steam-fried Eggplant, Tofu, adn Pork in Black Miso Sauce

Preparation before cooking:
1. Peel the skin of 4 medium-size Japanese eggplants like stripe patterns, then slice the eggplants into thin oblique.  As soon as they were sliced, toss the slices in a teaspoon of salt and set aside for 10 minutes.  Rinse off the salt and squeeze the eggplant slices.  This will help eggplants release excess moisture.
2. Fill the water in the lid of Fukkura-san and drain after 5 minutes.  The lid will absorb moisture and give steam-effect during cooking.
3. Marinade 10 oz of thinly-sliced pork butt in 2T sake, 2tsps soy sauce, and 2 tsps katakuriko (potato starch) in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. In a bowl, mix together 4T sake, 1/2T raw brown sugar, 1.5T soy sauce, 1T Hatcho miso, 1 clove garlic (grated), 1T grated ginger, and 2T water.

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Add 1T of each olive oil and sesame oil in the skillet of Fukkura-san.  Arrange the sliced eggplant and 7 oz medium-firm tofu (drained of excess moisture and sliced into thin cubes).  Cover with lid and set over medium heat.  Cook for 8-10 minutes (the ingredients will steam-fry inside of the donabe).

Meanwhile, sauté the pork in 1/2T olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan (both sides) until the meat is 80-90% cooked.

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Add the meat to the Fukkura-san.  Also add the sauce mixture.  Stir and cook for a few minutes or until everything is cooked through.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle some minced scallion.

The dish is such a nice treat to re-energyze my fatigued body during the hot summer.  It's so nice and I can eat extra amount of rice with this dish.

Happy donabe life.