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Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers

Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers

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These Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers are easy, rich, and delicious served right out of the oven, off of the grill, or at room temperature. If you are not sure about how you feel about eggplant, these skewers might make you a fan.

Serving suggestions for Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers

  • on mixed greens or lemon-juice massaged kale ribbons
  • with couscous
  • over rice
  • with quinoa
  • wrapped into a wrap
  • on their own as a simple, flavorful plate of grilled or roasted deliciousness
  • As leftovers you’ll love in a roasted veggie bowl

Saucy Serving Suggestions

Skewers

Edward Scissorhands, 1990
Photo Credit 20th Century Fox

Metal

I use these skewers. If you are cooking these in the oven, make sure the skewers you have will fit in your oven.

Bamboo

You can also use bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes so that they won’t burn up. I recommend soaking a few more of these skewers than you think you need—they are small and you don’t want to run out while you are skewering.

Be Careful

It’s easier to stab your hand or fingers than it seems like it would be. Make sure you are holding the ingredient with enough room between your fingers for the sharp skewer to pass through without stabbing you. If the skewer is not going through, try twisting the skewer a little as you slide it through the ingredient.

Which Kind of Eggplant?

The answer is purple. Eggplants come in many shapes. I have used Japanese, Indian, and big old non-exotic eggplant from my American grocery store. However, I have not made this with green Thai eggplant.

If you have long, skinny eggplant, you can cut it into slices with the skin on. When you skewer, you can just skewer through the middle and it will stay on the skewer when cooking.

If you have large eggplant, pierce each piece through the skin when skewering so that the eggplant will stay on the skewer when cooking. It’s easiest to pierce skin-side first when skewering.

No Need To Salt The Eggplant

I love eggplant recipes that do not require salting the eggplant. This is one of those recipes. Just wash the eggplant before cutting, marinating, and skewering.

The Lemon Juice Makes It Shine

Don’t skimp on the lemon juice.The lemon juice in the marinade helps balance the flavors. The lemon juice squeezed or brushed on when finishing the roasted or grilled skewers adds brightness.

Prepping Ahead

Sometimes I prep these the night before. I store the marinade separate from the eggplant and onion. It’s possible the eggplant could turn to mush if I left it in the marinade overnight. I store the cut eggplant and onion in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Then when I am ready to cook the skewers, I just pour the marinade into the bag, seal it, and toss the veggies with the marinade. Then I turn on the oven, skewer, and bake.

Cutting the Red Onion and Eggplant

I recommend cutting the eggplant into 1 – 2 inch pieces and the onion into 2 – 3 inch pieces, leaving the inside pieces layered so they can be skewered.

You can leave the center parts of the onion together so that they can be skewered.

If you have extra, small red onion bits that can’t be skewered, chop them and make Chipotle’s Official Guac Recipe if you enjoy having really tasty guac at home.

Chopping the tiny red onion bits to make Chipotle’s Official Guac Recipe which has nothing to do with these skewers, it's just a suggestion for the leftover, tiny onion pieces
Chopping the tiny red onion bits to make Chipotle’s Official Guac Recipe, which has nothing to do with these skewers—it’s just a suggestion for the leftover, tiny onion pieces

Grated or Jarred Ginger?

Both work great for this recipe. You can even use ginger from a tube. This is a nice substitute for those times you don’t feel like grating ginger.

Oven-Roasted or Grilled?

I don’t have easy access to a grill, so I make these in the oven.

Here are the Grilling Instructions, as written, from Tasting Table:  Heat a grill to a medium-hot fire or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the skewers, flipping occasionally, until the eggplant is tender and the skewers are lightly charred all around, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and squeeze the juice from the lemon over the skewers. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the sesame seeds and scallions, and serve hot or at room temperature.

I recommend brushing them with any leftover marinade while grilling.

Cooking Notes

The eggplant tastes best when it is fully cooked and pierces easily with a fork. If both the eggplant and red onions are charred on the edges, but the eggplant still has a little resistance when you press a fork into it, just turn the oven off or the grill down and let it cook at a lower temperature for a 5 – 10 minutes. If your oven doesn’t drop in temp quickly, you can crack the oven door to lower the temp.

Let’s Make Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers

Make the marinade

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Place the eggplant and onion pieces in a large bowl or bag with marinade. Toss until everything is coated nicely. Let sit for 15 – 30 minutes at room temperature. While they are marinating, preheat the oven to 400° F. See Notes below for grilling instructions if you prefer to grill.

Skewer

Thread each skewer with the eggplant and 2 – 3 pieces of onion, alternating between the two. If using large eggplant, pierce the skin side with the skewer to help it stay on the skewer. If using Japenese eggplant that has been cut so that the skin surrounds the outside of each piece, skewering through the middle, as opposed to the skin works fine.

Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers on baking sheets lined with pre-cut unbleached parchment paper

I only put 4 – 5 skewers per baking sheet so that they have some space and can cook evenly.

You might have a skewer that is mostly onion or eggplant.
You might have a skewer that is mostly onion or eggplant.

Place skewers on lined baking sheets, brushing, dabbing, or drizzling with some of the remaining marinade. Save some of the marinade to brush on after flipping.

Heat

Roast skewers at 400° F for 20 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Flip the skewers and brush them with the remaining marinade.

Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers in the oven
Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers in the oven
Brushing the remaining marinade onto the skewers after cooking for 20 minutes and flipping.
Brushing the remaining marinade onto the skewers after cooking for 20 minutes and flipping.

Place back into the oven for 10 – 20 minutes or until the eggplant pierces easily with a fork and the red onion and eggplant look lightly charred on the edges. Check them often toward the end; cook times vary based on ovens and the size of the eggplant and onion pieces.

Remove from the oven and squeeze, brush, or drizzle the lemon juice over the skewers. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the sesame seeds and scallions and/or chopped mint leaves, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers plated with baby kale, rice and Vegan Roasted Garlic Aioli
These make tasty leftovers
These make tasty leftovers
Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers
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5 from 2 votes

Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers

These Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers are easy, rich, and delicious served right out of the oven, off of the grill, or at room temperature.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Party Food
Cuisine American, California, Japanese, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Game Day, grill, oven
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 202kcal

Equipment

  • 8-10 metal skewers or 12-16 bamboo skewers soaked for at least 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • ½ cup white miso use chickpea miso if needed for soy allergy
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • 3 TBSPs water
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 3 TBSPs avocado oil or other high-smoke point oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or sub sugar or sweetner of choice
  • 3 – 4 TBSPs lemon juice the juice of one lemon

For the Skewers

  • 1 & ¼ pound eggplant, about 570 grams Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Aubergine, or whichever kind of purple eggplant you have available. I haven't tried this with green Thai eggplant yet. 
  • 1 pound 1-inch pieces red onion, about 450 grams

For Garnish

  • 2 – 4 TBSP lemon juice the juice of about 1/2 – 1 lemon depending on taste (can mix-in a a drizzle of toasted sesame oil is desired)
  • 2 TBSPs thinly sliced mint leaves, scallions and/or chives optional
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds and/or toasted white sesame seeds optional

Instructions

  • Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  • Place the eggplants and onion pieces in a large bowl or bag with marinade. Toss until everything is coated nicely. Let sit for 15 – 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 400° F. See Notes below for grilling instructions if you prefer to grill.
  • Thread each skewer with the eggplant and 2 – 3 pieces of onion, alternating between the two. If using large eggplant, pierce the skin side with the skewer to help it stay on the skewer. If using Japanese eggplant that has been cut with the skin on, skewering through the middle as opposed to through the skin works fine.
  • I only put 4 – 5 skewers per baking sheet. This way they can cook evenly and quickly because they are not crowded. Place skewers on lined baking sheets, brushing, dabbing, or drizzling with some of the remaining marinade. Save some of the marinade to brush on after flipping. Roast skewers at 400° F for 20 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Flip the skewers and brush them with the remaining marinade.
  • Place back into the oven for 10 – 20 minutes or until the eggplant pierces easily with a fork and the red onion and eggplant look lightly charred on the edges. Check them often during the end; cook times vary based on ovens and the size of the eggplant and onion pieces. Remove from the oven and squeeze, brush, or drizzle the lemon juice over the skewers. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the sesame seeds and scallions and/or chopped mint leaves, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate.
I don’t have easy access to a grill, so I make these in the oven.

On The Grill

Here are the Grilling Instructions, as written, from Tasting Table:  Heat a grill to a medium-hot fire or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the skewers, flipping occasionally, until the eggplant is tender and the skewers are lightly charred all around, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and squeeze the juice from the lemon over the skewers. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the sesame seeds and scallions, and serve hot or at room temperature.
I recommend brushing them with any leftover marinade while grilling.

Cooking Notes

The eggplant tastes best when it is fully cooked and pierces easily with a fork. If your skewers are charred, but the eggplant still has a little resistance when you press a fork into it, just turn the oven off or the grill down and let it cook at a lower temperature for a 5 – 10 minutes. If you oven doesn’t drop in temp quickly, you can crack the oven door to lower the temp.
www.planttestkitchen.com

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 861mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

Recipe adapted from Andy Baraghani‘s recipe posted on Tasting Table.

If you enjoy food on sticks, have a look at Marinated Oven Roasted Kebabs.

Did you make Miso Eggplant & Red Onion Skewers?

How did it go? Did you grill or roast them in the oven? Serve with any grains? Eat right off of the stick? Did you sauce it up? Add some kale or mixed greens? Are you an eggplant fan? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

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