Barbecued Eggplant with Miso Glaze

See the RecipeAnna Stockwell

Sometimes, the dish that stands out in a great meal isn't the entree or even the dessert. In my experience, the taste that lingers on the palate (and in my memory) is the very first bite I take. At the Ember Room, a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, that was a deceptively simple plate of barbecued eggplant that tasted like it had been slow-roasted for hours. Its flavors were so perfect that I had to speak to chef Ian Chalermkittichai about his creation. Chef Ian, a Bangkok native, revealed that the secret of this elegant dish is that it's broiled in the oven, the direct heat source from above providing a heavy, steady heat that both tenderizes the eggplant and caramelizes its sweet-savory miso glaze.