Vegan Recipe for Miso Caramel Aubergine by Sasha Gill

In this recipe for 'nasu dengaku', the grilled sesame crust lends the aubergine a deliciously indulgent quality.


WordsClémence Leleu

© The Experiment Publishing

In this recipe inspired by Japan, the flavour of aubergine is lifted by miso, fermented soybean paste, which is used in numerous Japanese recipes including the famous soup of the same name

Food blogger Sasha Gill became vegan at the age of 17 and offers, in her recipe book entitled East Meets Vegan, 90 recipes inspired by dishes that she ate with her family when she was younger, with one key difference: none of these recipes contain any animal products. 

From Japan to India, China, and Thailand, Sasha Gill showcases Asian flavours and substitutes meat ingredients for plant versions, taking care not to compromise on the indulgent quality of the dish. 

Serves 4-6 as a side


4 aubergines

70 g miso paste

2 teaspoons sesame oil

60 ml maple syrup

60 ml warm water

1 cm ginger, finely chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

Sliced scallions and red chilli, to garnish


Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise, then score each half with a diamond pattern, making sure not to cut right through to the skin.

In a bowl, whisk together the miso, sesame oil, maple syrup, warm water, ginger, and garlic powder to make a marinade. Pour into a roasting pan and lay the aubergines, scored side down, in the marinade. Leave to marinate for one to two hours.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake the aubergines for 30–35 minutes, until very tender. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and flip them over, then spoon some of the cooking juices from the pan over the aubergines. Sprinkle with a generous layer of sesame seeds, then return to the oven, uncovered, for another five minutes to toast the sesame seeds and give them a lovely crunch. 

Serve garnished with scallions and chilli slices. If you like, you can pour any remaining cooking juices into a small bowl and serve alongside the eggplant.


East Meets Vegan (2019), a recipe book by Sasha Gill, is published by The Experiment, and is currently only available in English.

Sasha Gill is of Indian and Eurasian heritage and grew up in Singapore. She is a medical student alongside her work as a food blogger and has been championing the vegan life style for several years. East Meets Vegan is her first book. 

© The Experiment Publishing