Master Nobu’s Miso Eggplant Recipe: A Guide to Exquisite Japanese Flavors

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine sinking your teeth into a succulent piece of eggplant, its soft texture perfectly complemented by a sweet and savory miso glaze. That’s the magic of the Nobu Miso Eggplant, a beloved dish from the world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa. This recipe brings a touch of luxury to your dining table, combining simple ingredients with complex flavors.

Originating from the heart of Japanese cuisine, this dish elevates the humble eggplant to new heights. Chef Nobu’s approach marries traditional Japanese techniques with a modern twist, making it a standout favorite in his global restaurants. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious foodie, preparing this dish at home will add a flair of sophistication to your meals.

Get ready to impress your guests or treat yourself to a delightful culinary experience with this exquisite recipe. Let’s dive into the flavors and techniques that make the Nobu Miso Eggplant a true gourmet masterpiece.


Get ready to transform simple eggplants into a gourmet dish with these well-chosen ingredients that capture the essence of Chef Nobu’s famous recipe.

Main Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Necessary Equipment

To prepare Nobu Miso Eggplant with the finesse of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, you’ll need some specific kitchen tools. Here’s what you should gather before you start:

  • Large Baking Sheet: Essential for roasting the eggplants evenly. Line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat for easy cleanup.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife: Needed to slice the eggplants. A sharp knife ensures clean cuts without damaging the delicate flesh of the eggplant.
  • Mixing Bowls: You’ll need at least two bowls; one for preparing the miso glaze and another for tossing the eggplant in oil.
  • Whisk: To blend the miso paste and the liquids into a smooth glaze. A fork could work in a pinch, but a whisk is much more effective.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurement of ingredients like mirin, sake, olive oil, and sugar, which ensures the balance of flavors is just right.
  • Brush: To apply the miso glaze onto the eggplants. This helps in evenly coating the eggplants with the flavorsome miso mixture.
  • Grater: For the fresh ginger required in the miso glaze. Freshly grated ginger will give a more intense flavor than pre-ground.
  • Spatula: Useful for turning the eggplants during roasting and for serving, ensuring they maintain their shape and don’t break apart.
  • Serving Platter: A nice platter to present and serve your beautifully glazed eggplants.

Each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the creation of this dish, aiding in the meticulous preparation and presentation of the miso eggplant just as Chef Nobu intends. Gather these tools and you’re all set to begin your culinary adventure with this exquisite recipe.

Preparation Steps

With your tools ready, dive into the preparation of this gourmet Nobu Miso Eggplant dish. Follow these steps to ensure your eggplants are perfectly roasted and the miso glaze is exquisitely blended.

Preparing the Eggplant

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Set your oven to 400°F (200°C) to ensure it’s hot enough for roasting.
  2. Slice the Eggplants: Using your sharp chef’s knife, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Be sure to keep the stem intact to hold the halves together.
  3. Score the Flesh: Carefully make diagonal incisions in the flesh of the eggplant without cutting through the skin. This technique allows the heat and flavors to penetrate more deeply.
  4. Brush with Oil: Lightly brush the cut surfaces of the eggplant with olive oil. This helps in creating a beautifully caramelized surface when roasted.
  5. Season: Sprinkle a little bit of salt over the eggplants. Salt not only seasons the eggplant but also helps to draw out moisture, which improves the texture.
  6. Roast: Place the eggplants cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes. The eggplants should be tender and the surfaces golden brown.
  1. Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, add 3 tablespoons of white miso paste, 1 tablespoon of mirin, 1 tablespoon of sake, and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  2. Whisk Thoroughly: Use your whisk to mix the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Ensure there are no lumps to achieve a sleek glaze.
  3. Adjust Flavor: Taste your glaze and adjust the sweetness or saltiness according to your preference. This step is crucial as it tailors the glaze to your personal taste.
  4. Simmer: Transfer the glaze mixture to a small saucepan and cook over low heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The glaze should thicken slightly, making it perfect for coating.
  5. Brush on Eggplants: Once your eggplants are roasted, use your brush to apply a generous layer of the miso glaze over the cut surfaces of each eggplant half.
  6. Broil: Return the glazed eggplants to the oven and broil on high for 3-5 minutes or until the glaze is bubbling and starts to caramelize.

By following these steps, your Nobu Miso Eggplant will not only look spectacular but also have the deep, rich flavors characteristic of Chef Nobu’s celebrated cuisine.

Cooking Instructions

Embark on the culinary journey of creating chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s celebrated Nobu Miso Eggplant. Follow these instructions to ensure your dish captures the elegant flavors and presentation.

Grilling the Eggplant

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (205°C), ensuring it reaches the correct temperature for an even roast.
  2. Take your previously sliced and scored eggplants and lightly brush them with olive oil on all sides. This helps in crisping the skin and keeping the flesh moist during cooking.
  3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, skin side down. Ensure they are evenly spaced to allow for proper heat circulation.
  4. Roast the eggplants in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. The aim is for the eggplants to soften while gaining a light golden color. If you check halfway through, you can flip them to ensure an even roast.
  1. While the eggplants are roasting, prepare your miso glaze. In a small saucepan, mix 3 tablespoons of miso paste, 1 tablespoon of mirin, 1 tablespoon of sake, and a teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat and whisk continuously. This prevents the miso from burning and allows the flavors to meld together nicely.
  3. Once the mixture begins to bubble slightly, turn off the heat. Your glaze should have a smooth, velvety consistency.
  4. Remove the roasted eggplants from the oven. They should be tender to touch, with a slightly crisped edge.
  5. Generously brush the miso glaze over the top of each eggplant, ensuring a thick, even layer. The glaze will infuse the flesh with a rich umami flavor.
  6. Set the oven to broil and return the glazed eggplants for 3-5 minutes or until the glaze bubbles and starts to caramelize. Keep a close eye to prevent burning.

By following these steps precisely, you’ll produce a visually appealing and deliciously rich dish, echoing the mastery of Chef Nobu’s Miso Eggplant.

Assembling the Dish

After your eggplants are beautifully roasted and the miso glaze is silky and fragrant, it’s time to bring all the components together for the final flourish. This stage is crucial as it melds the flavors into a cohesive dish, ensuring each bite is infused with the signature umami depth that makes this recipe a standout.

  1. Place the Roasted Eggplants on a Serving Platter: Arrange the roasted eggplants on a serving dish. Ensure they are spread out evenly with enough space between them to allow the glaze to coat thoroughly.
  2. Generously Apply the Miso Glaze: Using a pastry brush, generously slather the miso glaze over the cut surface of each eggplant half. Be liberal with the glaze to ensure it seeps into the scored flesh, enhancing the eggplant with its sweet and savory richness.
  3. Broil to Perfection: Turn the oven to broil and place the glazed eggplants back in. Watch them closely as the glaze begins to bubble and caramelize. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your oven. The goal is to achieve a slightly charred surface without burning the delicate miso.
  4. Garnish Before Serving: Once out of the oven, sprinkle lightly with toasted sesame seeds and a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for added gloss and a nutty aroma. If desired, a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions or a few leaves of cilantro can add a fresh contrast to the rich glaze.
  5. Serve Warm and Enjoy: Serve the dish warm, accompanied by steamed rice or as a stand-alone appetizer. Each bite is a perfect balance of smoky, umami, and sweet, making it a true delight for the palate.

Follow these steps to beautifully assemble your Nobu Miso Eggplant, ensuring every element shines through, reflecting Chef Nobu’s culinary excellence.

Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve mastered the art of making Nobu’s Miso Eggplant, presenting it creatively can enhance the dining experience. Here’s how to serve this delightful dish effectively to impress your guests or just treat yourself to a gourmet meal at home.

As a Main Course

Serve the Miso Eggplant as the star of the show. Plate each half of the broiled eggplant on individual plates for a sophisticated presentation. Complement the rich umami flavor of the miso glaze with a side of steamed jasmine rice or soba noodles. This balance not only rounds out the meal but also helps soak up some of the delicious glaze.

With a Side Salad

Pair the eggplant with a light, refreshing salad to contrast the depth of the miso. A simple salad of mixed greens tossed with a ginger vinaigrette or a cucumber salad sprinkled with rice vinegar and sesame seeds makes for a refreshing side that cleanses the palate.

As an Appetizer

Consider serving smaller portions if you’re hosting a dinner party. Cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces, stick a toothpick in each, and arrange them elegantly on a platter. This method allows guests to enjoy a burst of flavor in a format that’s easy to share.

Pairing with Drinks

To truly round out the meal, select a beverage that complements the deep flavors of the dish. A crisp white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the miso glaze, while a light, dry sake can echo the Japanese roots of the dish, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Incorporating these serving suggestions will not only make your Nobu Miso Eggplant dish a culinary delight but also a visual and sensory experience. Enjoy the process of presenting and savoring this exquisite dish, knowing you’re bringing a piece of Chef Nobu’s kitchen into your own home.


Ready to impress your guests or treat yourself to a gourmet meal at home? Give the Nobu Miso Eggplant a try. It’s not just food—it’s an experience that captures the essence of high-quality Japanese cuisine. Whether you’re serving it as a sophisticated appetizer or a main dish this recipe promises to delight. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or sake to fully appreciate its flavors. Here’s to a meal that’s as enjoyable to make as it is to eat. Cheers to your culinary success!

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