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Grilled Fennel, Leeks, and Eggplant with Garlic-Miso Sauce

This is one of the recipes from Mrs Susie. If you want to find out more about her have a look at her biography page which she has written. Mrs Susie specialises in Oriental cooking. An important first step in Oriental cooking (which I think is important) is at the end of each recipe.

To find out the basic requirements for making Sushi have a look at 'A few things you need to make Sushi' under Tips,etc.

"Choose your Miso.

Miso comes in several varieties, but I've narrowed the options to just two for these recipes: the lighter-colored yellow miso, which has a sweeter, more mellow flavor; and the darker, saltier, and more fragrant red miso. Per tablespoon, both have about 30 calories and no fat. But the red miso has 630 milligrams sodium compared to 540 milligrams in the yellow. Miso has the consistency of peanut butter; it will keep for up to two months when refrigerated in an airtight container.

Mirin is a low-alcohol sweet wine common in Japanese cuisine. It's available in Asian food markets and can often be found in the gourmet sections of some supermarkets".


4 small leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise and crosswise
4 small Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise and crosswise (about 11/4 pounds)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/3 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup yellow miso (soybean paste)


  • Prepare grill or broiler.
  • Place the leeks, eggplants, fennel, and garlic in a grill basket on a grill rack or on a broiler pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, turning frequently.
  • Remove the leeks, eggplant and fennel from the heat and cook the garlic for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Combine mirin and water in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes.
  • Squeeze garlic cloves to extract pulp; place pulp in a blender.
  • Add the mirin mixture and miso; process until smooth.
  • Pour the sauce over the vegetables, and toss well to coat.

Serves 8

Mrs Susie

"I have studied oriental cooking quite a bit and the one thing that makes it different from other styles of cooking is: it is 90% preparation and 10% cooking. It is very important to have everything in the recipe already prepared for cooking before you start cooking.

I take a plate and cut up my ingredients as called for in the recipe and place them on different parts of the plate. Only then do I think about cooking. I will put my oil in the pan and, as the things are called for in the recipe, I will sweep them into whatever pan I am cooking with, cook for as long as called for, then add the next ingredient.

Oriental cooking happens so fast. To stop and cut up the garlic (for example) if I had the ginger cooking in the pan would result in burnt ginger before the garlic is finished.

When I am cooking a ten or fifteen course dinner you should see my kitchen. I have plates all over and all my sauces mixed in bowls and everything is ready to cook before I start cooking. This is the right way to do it and necessary to have a well-timed dinner.

Another thing, get yourself a good cleaver that will not rust. You will be surprised how much you will use this for all your cooking, not just oriental cooking. Do yourself a favor and get a good one. I think I paid $20 for mine but again that was 20 years ago".