Category Archives: Miami

Eggplant “Sushi”

While in Miami Sister and I found an interesting dish at a sushi restaurant, Doraku Sushi, eggplant prepared and presented as a sushi roll. It satisfied Sister’s vegan lifestyle and my sensitivity to rice, plus it was amazing in texture and flavour.

So impressed with the dish I set out to recreate. Overall this rendition is good. Not having used miso before, now I know its much saltier than expected; next time I’ll cut the miso in half.

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  • 2 Japanese Eggplants (the skinny ones)
  • 2-3 T Yellow Miso
  • 2-3 T Mirin
  • 1 T Chives, chopped, dried
  • 2 T Oil (any light flavour)
  • 1 t Sesame Oil
  • 2 t Garlic, chopped
  • 2 t Ginger, chopped
  • 1 t Red Chili Flakes
  • 2 t Sesame Seeds, roasted

To prepare the glaze, take miso, mirin, oils, garlic, ginger and chili and process in a food processor until smooth. You could also do this with a whisk if you want a chunkier glaze.

To prepare the eggplant, slice 1-2″ rounds, depending on how high you want them to stand. If you’re going for pick-up appetizers, 1″ is better. If you’re going for a side with visual appeal, 2″. In the 1″ case, it worked out better to pre-cook the rounds by slightly basting with oil then baking them for 15 minutes in a 375 oven. Remove from oven, let cool slightly then top each round with a  few teaspoons of glaze and a few toasted sesame seeds. Pop them under the broiler until the glaze starts to char around the edges. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives.

I loved the flavour (savory with a little garlic-chili bite) and texture (pillowy on the inside but still sturdy enough to pick up) of these, although they were not as good as the Doraku version. The secret here seems to balancing the miso with the other flavours and finding the right pre-bake time and temp for the desired texture.

I’ll try these again, perhaps with less miso or  a little agave and a longer time under the broiler.

Miami | Vizcaya

Nope, we don’t have any relatives living in Miami but it turned out to be a convenient place for a makeshift family gathering and given it was winter, much warmer.

Miami reminds me of Las Vegas in the late 90’s; perpetually busy and shiny with high rise condo construction rocketing forward on every corner. If you happen to be in Miami and are looking to escape the maze of impassable streets and a density of cranes blotting out the sun, you’re in luck. A mile or so south in Coconut Grove, there is Vizcaya Museum. Museum might be a strong word, its really the villa and grounds formerly belonging to the Deering family. Despite current renovation of the villa, this is still an extraordinary 2-3 hour stop. You’ll need at least that long to traverse the “Gardens”, which cover 50 bay-side acres and seem similar to gardens I’ve seen in Florence, Italy.

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