Eggplant with Ginger and Miso

2 Tbsp good quality miso
1 1/2 teaspoons sake
1 pound (450 g) Japanese eggplants (4 to 5 long, skinny eggplants)
6 Tbsp canola oil, cold-pressed sesame oil, grape seed oil, rice bran oil, or other high smoke-point oil
2 whole, dried red chili peppers, torn in half
1 Tbsp peeled, slivered fresh ginger
1 Tbsp finely sliced shiso leaves, Thai basil leaves, or fresh mint leaves

Stir the miso and the sake together in a small bowl, set aside.

Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Then slice them on a diagonal, crosswise, in a little less than 1/2-inch thick slices.

Heat the chilies in the oil in a wok or large skillet on medium heat. Once the chilies start to sizzle, and you can smell the aroma of the chilies, add the ginger and eggplant slices, and toss to coat with the oil. Stir gently for several minutes until the eggplant pieces are shiny and soft.

Add the miso-sake mixture to the eggplant pieces and gently stir to coat. Remove from heat. Stir in the chopped shiso, Thai basil, or mint leaves, and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

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