Chicken Teriyaki with Miso Roasted Eggplant, Spinach and Rice

chicken teriyaki, miso roasted eggplant, spinach and rice

chicken teriyaki, miso roasted eggplant, spinach and rice

This recipe brings together three of our favourite Japanese dishes into one little bowl of goodness. We serve this as an easy weeknight dinner and take leftovers to work the next day, or you could bulk the meal up with some edamame, sashimi or tempura to create a Japanese dinner party for friends.

We have adapted these recipes from Adam Liaw’s wonderful books The Zen Kitchen and Asian After Work. This recipe serves 4 people.

Teriyaki Sauce:

  • 125ml soy sauce
  • 100ml mirin
  • 100ml sake
  • 40g caster sugar

Mix together all ingredients in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then set aside until cool. You will have enough sauce for many meals, store in a bottle or jar in the cupboard until ready to use.

Miso Roasted Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplants, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt

Miso Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 2 Tbsp water

Heat the oven to 220°C. Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast the eggplant for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is beginning to brown. Mix together the miso dressing ingredients, and pour over the eggplant. Stir well to ensure the eggplant is evenly coated and then continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the dressing becomes less watery and the eggplant begins to caramelise. Remove from the oven and set aside.

miso roasted eggplant

miso roasted eggplant

Teriyaki Chicken:

  • 1 small brown onion
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Teriyaki Sauce

Finely slice the onion and set aside. Slice the chicken thighs into small wedges and toss in the cornflour. Heat the oil in a non-stick frypan over high heat, then add the onion. Cook until the onion begins to brown, then add the chicken. Continue frying until the chicken is browned on all sides, but not cooked through. Add the Teriyaki Sauce and toss the chicken and onion to coat. Cook until the sauce reduces to a glaze and the chicken is cooked to your liking, then set aside.

chicken teriyaki

chicken teriyaki

Soy Spinach:

  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

Wash the spinach in cold water and leave to soak for around 10 minutes. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then using chopsticks or tongs, hold the root and stems of the spinach in the water. After 10 seconds push the leaves of the spinach plant into the water as well. Cook for one minute then remove and drain in cold water. Once the spinach is cold, squeeze out as much of the water as possible, remove the roots and slice the spinach into 5cm lengths. Pour over the soy sauce and set aside.

To serve:

  • Medium grain white rice
  • Bonito flakes
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Toasted black and white sesame seeds

Add a little rice to each bowl, place some teriyaki chicken beside it, then some spinach, and finally some of the miso roasted eggplant. Sprinkle a pinch of the bonito flakes on the spinach, and scatter some sesame seeds and the spring onions across the chicken, eggplant and rice. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

image1If you’re one of the few people who is yet to discover Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, you probably think vegetarian food is bland or boring. This book was a revelation for us when we bought a copy many years ago, and we’ve been fans of Ottolenghi ever since. These recipes are deceptive in their simplicity, in that Ottolenghi allows each featured ingredient to shine, but with a subtle complexity of flavor that enlivens the senses and encourages you to reach for a second helping. Try any of these recipes and you won’t be missing the meat.

Ian’s favourite vegetable is eggplant (aubergine), so the eggplant section in our copy of Plenty is well-thumbed and a little sticky, as all good cookbooks should be. Of all the eggplant recipes we know, this is the prettiest! Served with some chunky sourdough or pita bread, this makes a great entrée, or you could serve it as a side dish.

A note about Za’atar: This Middle Eastern term can refer to the herb thyme, or a blend of thyme, sesame, sumac and salt. We enjoy making our own blend and have listed the ingredients below, or you could simply substitute thyme leaves or buy a pre-made za’atar spice mix. If you make the spice mix, you will have much more than you need for this recipe, but it can be used to season anything from bread or potatoes to roasted or grilled chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tss za’atar spice mix
  • sea salt and black pepper

Sauce:

  • 140ml buttermilk
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil, plus a little drizzle to finish
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of sea salt

Za’atar Spice Mix:

  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.
  2. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting through the green stalk. Using a sharp knife, make a few incisions in the cut side of each eggplant without cutting through the skin on the other side. Repeat the incisions at a 45-degree angle to create a diamond shaped pattern.
  3. Place the prepared eggplant halves cut-side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush them with the olive, continuing to brush until all of the oil has been absorbed. Sprinkle over the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper, and garnish with a few of the lemon thyme sprigs.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft and brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pomegranate and sauce. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl with the cut side against your palm, and bash the skin of the pomegranate with a rolling pin or wooden spoon. The seeds should start falling out through your fingers, continue bashing more forcefully until all the seeds are in the bowl. Sift through the seeds to remove any pieces of white skin or membrane.
  6. For the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  7. To serve, spoon a generous amount of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks (the stalks look pretty, but do not eat them!) Sprinkle za’atar and pomegranate seeds across the top and drizzle with some olive oil.