I happened to catch Bobby Flay grilling up some Japanese bbq the other day. It all looked SO good that I decided it was high time we did the same. Of course, we must do said grilling in our kickass grill pan instead of on an actual grill in the great outdoors. So we get the added bonus of a smoky apartment and some real good pan scrubbing. Lucky me! (We all know who did the dishes.)

The yakitori turned out very well. I started using skewers but realized that they didn’t fit in the pan, so I ditched them. And mizuna? New favorite green! Plus this dish features our favorite: rice noodles.

Here are two eggplant recipes: the one I was going to make and the one I ended up making. When you find a teeny tiny insect in your miso paste, and when you’re fortunate enough to have most of the ingredients needed for a different asian glazed eggplant recipe, I recommend going with plan B. I’m sure that our teeny tiny winged friend is considered a delicacy in many parts, but not here, and not tonight. C’mon, I got the attractive nuisance to enjoy eggplant. That’s adventurous enough for one night!


Chicken Yakitori


  • 1/4 cup pureed daikon radish
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Few dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco, plus more for serving
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to directions, shocked in cold water and drained well
  • 8 ounces mizuna


Special equipment: 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 1 hour

Whisk together the radish puree, mirin, sake, oil, soy and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

Preheat a charcoal grill or kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker for direct grilling over high heat.

Using 2 skewers for each chicken thigh, thread the edges of the meat onto the skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board.

Whisk together the oil, rice vinegar, soy, lime juice and sugar in a large bowl and season with pepper. Pour some over the mizuna, toss to coat and mound in a large shallow serving bowl. Toss the noodles with the remaining dressing and mound in the center of the mizuna.

Cut the chicken thighs in half down the middle between the skewers to make kebabs. Arrange the skewers spoke-like around the mizuna, chicken toward the center, drizzle with additional hot sauce and serve.


Spicy Hoisin Glazed Eggplant


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves


Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and red chili flakes and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the hoisin, vinegar and soy sauce until combined and then strain, reserving the sauce.

Heat grill to high.

Brush eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the slices on the grill and grill until golden brown and slighty charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with some of the glaze, turn over and continue grilling just until cooked through, brushing with more of the glaze, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and brush with the remaining glaze. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Miso Glazed Grilled Eggplant

I’m sure this is very tasty. Sans bug.


  • 1/2 cup white miso (also called shiro miso)
  • 1/4 cup cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh mint, for garnish


Preheat a charcoal grill or kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker for direct grilling over high heat.

Whisk together the miso, mirin, sugar and 2 tablespoons water until combined.

Brush the cut-side of the eggplant with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant, cut-side down, until lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant over, brush with some of the glaze and continue grilling for 2 more minutes. Brush with more glaze, flip over and grill until the cut-side is caramelized, about 4 minutes. Remove to a platter, cut-side up, and sprinkle with mint.

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