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Smoked Japanese Eggplant with Garlic and Mushrooms


12 baby Japanese eggplant, split lengthwise
1 garlic bulb, top sliced off
Toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tablespoons grated ginger
24 shiitake mushroom caps, stems removed 


Coat surfaces of eggplant and garlic with sesame oil. Smoke-cook at 225°F for 90 minutes over hickory or apple wood, or until garlic is tender.
Leaving shells, scoop out eggplant flesh into a mixing bowl. Add squeezing's of the garlic, soy sauce and ginger. Mash.
Re-fill shells, top with the mushrooms, brush with sesame oil and return to smoker for 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with sprigs of watercress and carved radishes on a platter or individual plates.
Yield: 24 small appetizers