Nabe Shigi: Miso Sauteéd Pork and Eggplant

 Miso Sauteéd Pork and Eggplant Shigiyaki

I love stir fries because they're quick and easy and you usually get plenty of protein and vegetables in one dish. It's the perfect weeknight meal when you have less than 30 minutes to get dinner on the table (thank you quick cook setting, rice cooker!). And because my mother happens to be a wonder woman who makes her own miso, I'm always looking for dishes that will let her miso shine. And trust me, I have been asking her to share her talent with us so I can feature a miso making post in the future. Nabe shigi (鍋しぎ)  or shigiyaki (しぎ焼き) is the perfect hearty miso based stir fry. It takes about 10 minutes of prep work and 10 minutes of stove time and you have yourself a delicious dish.

Produce for Shigiyaki

The key to this dish is using Asian eggplants. Chinese or Japanese varieties are sweeter and softer than their Italian counterparts (Japanese eggplants are darker than Chinese eggplants used in this post and even sweeter). I love the creamy texture of these eggplants once they're fully cooked. There's no need to pre-salt the Asian varieties to extract any bitterness either so they're versatile and easy to use.

Eggplants Cut for Shigiyaki

The tricky part is that the beautiful purple skin will brown when it's exposed to oxygen and heat simultaneously so you want to submerge the skin in water or oil when cooking. The easiest way to prevent this other than weighing the eggplants down in a deep fryer (I assume most chinese restaurants are doing this to get the bright purple treasures) is to half peel the skin in stripes and roll cut the eggplants so that most of the skin can face down into the pan. The flesh will also brown but as long as you don't have it sitting out for an extended period of time, it shouldn't be an issue.

Other than the eggplant, the prep work for this dish is fairly straightforward. Cut both the green pepper and pork belly into bite size pieces, peel and mince the ginger, and mix the miso/sake/sugar well in a small bowl.

Cooking Eggplant for Shigiyaki

Eggplant takes a while to cook and soaks up a lot of oil so you want to cook it separately and in advance. Heat up a large frying pan with oil and lay out the eggplants in one layer skin side down to prevent browning. Once the purple color is preserved, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Remove and drain the oil on paper towels and reserve for later.

Cooking Pork and Green Pepper for Shigiyaki

At this point, there may not be any oil left in the pan. If that's the case, coat the pan with a thin layer of oil and fry up the ginger until aromatic. Add the pork and green peppers and sauté for 3 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Add the eggplant back in with the miso mixture and stir to coat all the ingredients. Serve with a bowl of white rice and enjoy!

Miso Sauteéd Pork and Eggplant Shigiyaki 2

Nabe Shigi: Miso Braised Pork and Eggplant
 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large Asian eggplants, peeled in stripes and roll cut into large bite size pieces
  • 1/2 lb thinly sliced pork belly or loin, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ knob of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp Japanese white miso
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix the miso, sake, and sugar and set aside
  2. Heat a large frying pan and heavily coat with canola oil on medium heat (about 1/3 cup oil)
  3. Pan-fry the eggplant in batches so that they don’t overlap and stir for 3-4 minutes. Once there’s some color on the eggplants, remove the eggplants and drain the oil on paper towels
  4. If there’s no oil left in the pan, make sure to add enough to coat the pan and sauté the ginger under for 1 minute (be careful not to burn the ginger)
  5. Once the ginger is aromatic, add the pork and green peppers and sauté for 3 minutes or until the pork changes color
  6. Add the eggplants and miso mixture to the pan and stir to coat the pork, peppers and eggplant and sauté for another minute
 

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