Miso paste can be made from barley, rice or soy. This recipe calls for the soy kind. Asian eggplants are narrow and straight, with a sweeter taste than the larger, rounder Italian ones. Holy basil has an anise flavor. Substitute another sweet basil if you cannot find it. If you don’t have a grill, use the broiler instead.
Prepare the topping in a small bowl, thoroughly mixing the Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic, shallot, tamari and miso paste. Set aside.
Prepare the marinade by mixing together the sesame and canola oils. Brush on the eggplant and let stand for 30 minutes or up to an hour.
Preheat the grill to medium. Grill eggplant halves, skin side down, for 2–3 minutes. Turn and grill for another 2–3 minutes on the other side.
Using a butter knife, spread the topping on the cut side of the eggplant halves. Sprinkle with basil and chopped peanuts (if using) before serving.
*Steel’s Rocky Mountain Hoisin Sauce contains no sugar. If you can’t find it in your supermarket, order it from jambsupply.com.
**To chiffonade is to cut into narrow strips. Stack the basil leaves, roll them tightly and then slice into thin strips with a sharp knife.