A few days ago, I attended a cooking class at Hot Stove Society (a Tom Douglas Cooking School) with Chef Rika Yukimasa, an incredibly talented chef from Tokyo, Japan. She is a "cooking researcher" who uses her own original techniques to introduce cooking that everyone can enjoy. She has written books on such diverse themes as Japanese cuisine, home cooking, entertaining, and cakes and sweets.
What I loved about this dish was the simplistic nature of ingredients used, yet the final product appears to look and taste so complex. In Japanese cooking, Chef Rika Yukimasa shared a secret to Japanese cooking that was very insightful. She said, in Japanese cooking, it's common to see experienced chef's incorporate the five color principal in every dish to create a more extravagant look and feel.
As a busy dad, using ingredients around the house to create tasty dishes is very useful. Chef Rika recommends every household should have soy sauce, rice, and sushi vinegar.
Pro Tip: To carry a healthy Japanese lifestyle, she recommends following the 4/3/3/2/1 rule. 4 fist-size of starch (rice), 3 protein, 3 boiled vegetables, 2 milk/yogurt, and 1 fruit.
Here are the list of ingredients for the Grilled Eggplant featured on this post.
- 2 eggplants
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sushi vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 bunch cilantro, for garnish
Remove the stems from the eggplants and slice diagonally. Make a "grid" of shallow cuts into the skin on the pieces from each end of each eggplant.
Stir-fry the eggplant (on low heat) until browned in spots on both sides, then add the sesame oil and continue to gently stir-fry, then transfer to serving plates.
In a bowl, mix together the sushi vinegar, mayonnaise, miso, sugar, and water to make the dressing, then drizzle it over the eggplant.
Top with torn cilantro leaves and serve.