Grilling vegetables is one of the easiest ways to enhance their flavors, and eggplant is no exception. The marinade adds a delicious Asian flavor to this dish and brings out the natural sweetness in this vegetable.
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar, white or brown
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove minced garlic
1 scallion, green parts, cut
Combine all ingredients, with the exception of the green onion, in a small saucepan.
Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the marinade is warm. Remove from the heat and set aside.
1 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
Cut and remove the stem of the eggplant, then cut it in half lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal slices through the flesh, roughly 1/2 to 1-inch deep, depending on the size of your eggplant. Do not cut through the eggplant. Turn the eggplant to 90° and again cut diagonal slices to create a criss-cross pattern.
Brush the flesh side of each half with a very thin layer of olive oil and place it flesh side down onto the grill.
Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn and brush the flesh side with a generous amount of marinade. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn the eggplant back over, flesh side down, and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.
Transfer the eggplant to a platter. Cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.