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Grilled Shiitake, Sweet Potato, and Eggplant Kabobs

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total preparation time: 50 minutes including marinating time

Shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and eggplant are all very “meaty” vegetables. Similarly, there’s a creaminess to Sesame Miso Sauce, although it contains no cream. Put them together and you’ve got a very filling dish. Tasty, too, of course. Grilling these vegetables as kabobs brings out their natural sugars. (You can broil them if you don’t have a grill or grill pan.)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (use a Microplane)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 large sweet potato (about 12 ounces)
2 small Asian eggplants (about 10 ounces), sliced crosswise 1/3-inch thick
16 large shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered or 32 smaller shiitake caps, stems discarded and caps halved
1 recipe Sesame Miso Sauce (recipe follows)

Combine the soy sauce, wine, 3 tablespoons water, the sugar, ginger, and sesame oil in a small saucepan; heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly.

Peel the sweet potato and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices. Cut the slices into quarters or halves so that they are roughly the same size as the eggplant slices. Steam the sweet potato slices in a steamer set over boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes or until they are just al dente.

Alternate the sweet potato, eggplant, and mushrooms on eight 8- inch metal skewers. Place the skewers in one layer in a shallow baking pan. Pour the marinade over them and marinate them at room temperature, turning a few times, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Sesame Miso Sauce.

Preheat the grill or a grill pan. Grill the kabobs, turning frequently, 4 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly golden. Serve with the Sesame Miso Sauce on the side.

Sesame Miso Sauce
Makes about 1 cup

Combine 3 tablespoons water with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons red or white miso, 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (use a Microplane), 1 1/2 tablespoons well stirred-tahini or 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry in a blender and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. May be kept for up to 5 days; shake before using.

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Sara's Weeknight Meals is produced by Silver Plume Productions and WETA Washington, DC, and distributed by American Public Television (APT) to public broadcasting stations nationwide. Corporate funding is provided by Best Buy, Gallo and King Arthur Flour. |

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