This recipe is the third in a series of four that I developed in partnership with the Big Green Egg who sponsored this post. (Read more about sponsored content on Eat Like a Girl). Previously in this series: BBQ Teriyaki Pig Cheeks and BBQ Clams with Gojuchang and Sake.
Well this is a cracker. Aubergine is a vegetable that loves smoke, and loves meat too. The deep sweet rumble of miso blends in seamlessly, and chilli gives everything a lift. Because everything does need a lift, every now and then.
This is deceptively simple. The deep flavours come from the fermented miso, the whole thing start to finish cooks in less than an hour. Miso is a great store cupboard ingredient, for quick miso soups and great marinades. Miso makes a great steak marinade with a little mirin, sake and rice vinegar to loosen it out ant balance it. Some chilli too for me, because I can’t resist it. Mix it with butter and a little citrus (yuzu if you can get it, if not some lemon or lime) and rub a chicken with it before sticking it on the grill.
I start this dish with an onion, as most good dishes start. It gives lovely sweetness and texture. Onions, like most simple everyday things, are deeply underrated.
- 2 aubergines, sliced in half vertically
- 300g minced pork (preferably minced pork belly or shoulder, supermarket minced meat does not have enough fat and can be dry)
- 2 tbsp white miso (or miso of your choice)
- 1 tbsp gojucharu (Korean red pepper flakes) or 1 tsp chilli flakes (less as they are hotter)
- 1 onion, peeled finely diced
- light oil for frying and for the aubergine, I used rapeseed
- sea salt
Fire up the BBQ and bring it to a stable 150 deg C (smouldering coals, nice heat).
Put a teaspoon of oil on the cut side of each aubergine and quickly rub it in. Aubergines are like sponges so it is important to be swift.
Put the aubergines cut side down on the grill and leave them to cook while you prepare the filling.
Sauté the diced onion in a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat until soft. It should take about 5 minutes.
Add the minced pork and cook through. Add the miso and the chilli, and a little water if it looks too dry (if there is enough fat in the pork this shouldn't be an issue).
When the aubergines are nice and becoming dark brown on the flesh side, remove them from the grill. Gently scoop out most of the flesh without tearing the aubergine. Combine the flesh with the miso pork and put inside the aubergine shells. Season to taste with sea salt.
Place back on the BBQ for another ten minutes. Eat hot.
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