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Caramelized miso and meat get stuff into a tender, creamy eggplant cup to make this Japanese Nasu Dengaku.

Stuffed Miso Eggplant (Nikumiso Dengaku)

With creamy cups of eggplant stuffed with a savory-sweet meat and miso sauce, this mashup of Nasu Dengaku (Miso Eggplant) and Niku Miso (Meat & Miso) turns these two popular Japanese appetizers into a hearty entree.

Course Entree
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword eggplant, miso, stuffed
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Pork
Diet Dairy-Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 256 kcal


For Dengaku Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons hatcho miso (black miso)

For eggplant

  • 2 small eggplants (Globe or Italian)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

For Nikumiso

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 12 grams ginger (finely minced)
  • 200 grams ground pork
  • 1 scallion (finely chopped)


  1. Make the dengaku sauce by whisking together the sugar, sake, and hatcho miso.
  2. Preheat about 3-inches of oil to 350 F (175 C) in a heavy-bottomed pot.
  3. Trim the stem end of the eggplants off.
  4. Use a peeler to peel alternating strips of skin off of the eggplant to create a striped pattern.
  5. Slice the bottom off of the eggplants, and then cut them in half. The eggplants should stand up relatively straight. If they don't, keep trimming them until they sit flat.
  6. Use a small spoon to carve the center out of the wide end of each piece of eggplant. Be sure to leave a 1/2-inch border around the sides, as well as at the bottom.
  7. Use a small spoon to carve out the center of each eggplant to make cups, but leave about 2cm of flesh on the sides and bottom.
  8. Deep fry the eggplant, giving each one a few full turns in the oil to set the color of the skin before adding the next one. They'll tend to float, so continue turning them, so they cook through evenly.
  9. When the eggplant can be easily pierced with a skewer, transfer them to a paper towel-lined rack with the carved side facing down to drain.
  10. To make the nikumiso, saute the ginger with a teaspoon of vegetable oil until it's fragrant.
  11. Add the ground pork and use a spatula to crumble it up until it is mostly cooked through.
  12. If you have a lot of oil pooling in your pan, use some dry paper towels to soak up the extra grease.
  13. Add the dengaku sauce and stir-fry until there is very little liquid remaining, and it no longer smells like alcohol.
  14. Stuff the fried eggplant with the nikumiso and garnish with chopped scallions.
Nutrition Facts
Stuffed Miso Eggplant (Nikumiso Dengaku)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 351mg15%
Potassium 698mg20%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 7g28%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 83IU2%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.