• Eggplant miso dip (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

This is a great recipe for a picnic as it puts a unique twist on a traditional dip and is sure to be a favourite! It's a versatile dish - not only is it easy to show but it can be used as a base for an open sandwich.




Skill level

Average: 3.1 (46 votes)


  • 6 medium eggplants          
  • 250 g good quality red miso
  • 30 ml organic brown rice vinegar (see Note)
  • 30 g caster sugar, plus 2 teaspoons extra, for sprinkling
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • baby herbs (micro shiso), to serve


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 30 minutes

Prick the eggplants all over with a skewer, about 30 times. Wrap each eggplant tightly in foil and place directly on the flame of a gas barbecue or stove. We do ours directly on charcoal. Cook the eggplant, turning occasionally or until soft and blackened all over. Place the blackened eggplants in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and stand for 30 minutes. This allows the eggplant to steam all the way through.

Scrape the flesh into a bowl - don’t worry if a little of the blackened skin remains. Add the miso, vinegar, shallots and 30 g of sugar and use your hands to combine. I like to leave the mix chunky. If you use a spoon it will break-down the eggplant too much. Place the eggplant in a heatproof dish, sprinkle with remaining sugar and place under a salamander for 1-2 minutes.

Garnish with micro herbs and serve with rice crackers.



• I prefer to use Spiral brand vinegar.


Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel. Recipe courtesy of Nic Wong of Cho Cho San, Sydney.


Tune into the SBS 2 Broadcast of Tropfest at 8:30pm on Sunday December 7.