I saw a show on NHK where miso was mixed with garlic and mirin and used to stir fry vegetables. This led me to consider using that similar mix with eggplant. The rest of the meal was built around what would be a strongly umami dish where two lighter components balanced two stronger components. The two lighter components are the rice with black garlic and hamachi cured in orange and soy. The two stronger components are the curry chicken and the miso eggplant.
Rice with Mushroom and Black Garlic
- Saute chopped mushrooms in oil until browned
- Add rice, water, and dashi stock powder
- After the rice is cooked and still warm, add sliced black garlic
The rice turned out quite fragrant. Top it with umeboshi for a sour contrast.
Rice with Mushrooms and Black Garlic
- Juice one orange, mix with soy and mirin
- Cure hamachi in the mix
- Slice and place on shiso
The hamachi gets a citrus profile. I added some pickled jicama from the week before.
- Mix crushed garlic (5 cloves) with miso, mirin, and gochujang
- Slice eggplant and saute until soft in oil
- Mix in miso mixture and completed cooking
I added some sauteed sausages to the eggplant. A deep, umami flavor resulted from the miso and garlic.
- Cut up chicken and slice radishes and turnips (any vegetables will do).
- Saute chicken, then add a little soy and mirin when browned
- Add curry mix and simmer
I added a pork sausage on a whim to the curry (as if it was not meaty enough).
And the lunch for the week:
Ingredient and preparation notes:
- Black garlic is fermented garlic (by way of steaming). Roasting garlic yields a somewhat similar flavor. Essentially, the garlic becomes milder and aromatic.
- Pantry staples: soy, mirin, dashi stock powder, miso
The Bento Doctor