Miso Eggplant Gyoza
You can never go wrong with dumplings. Prep the filling—here, a miso-infused roasted eggplant (Nasu dengaku, a fixture on many Japanese menus)—ahead of time so they come together quickly. Even better, you can freeze extras in zip-close bags to thaw and enjoy anytime you’re craving a Japanese-inspired lunch. Don’t forget the soy sauce for dipping and a sprinkle of crunchy sesame seeds.
Yields 4 servings
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup white miso paste
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
6 Japanese eggplants, halved
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted
Soy sauce and sesame seeds, for serving
Preheat broiler to high.
Place the mirin, sake, sugar, miso and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes and set aside.
Brush the cut side of the eggplants with 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Place, cut-side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Broil for 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Brush with the miso glaze and cook for a further 6 to 8 minutes or until golden and the eggplant is cooked through. Let cool, then finely chop.
To make the gyoza, dry your hands completely (or wrappers will stick). Place a gyoza wrapper on one hand and put 2 teaspoons filling in center of the wrapper. Brush edge of half the wrapper with cold water. Make a semi-circle by folding the wrapper in half. Pinch open sides of wrapper together with your fingers and seal the top.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat and cook the gyoza for 2 minutes, without moving them. Pour ½ cup water into the pan and quickly cover with a lid. Cook for 1 minute, then give the skillet a few firm shakes to help remove any stuck on bits. Cook for 1 minute more, or until the water has evaporated and the wrappers are cooked. Serve with soy sauce and sesame seeds.
Green Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette (from the book)
Smashed Cucumber Salad (from the book)
Make the filling, 5 days ahead
Extra gyoza can be frozen in zip-close bags, up to 2 months