To enhance eggplant's savoriness, chef Allen Susser (an F&W Best New Chef 1991) glazes it with soy sauce and mirin and sprinkles it with togarashi, a tangerine-scented Japanese spice blend of chiles, sesame seeds and dried seaweed.
1 1/2 pounds large Japanese eggplants, cut crosswise 1 inch thick
Togarashi, for sprinkling (see Note)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Lightly sprinkle the eggplants on both sides with togarashi. In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons each of the canola and sesame oils until shimmering. Add the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, 4 minutes. Brush the eggplant with the remaining canola and sesame oil. Turn and cook until deeply browned on the bottom and tender. Add the mirin and soy sauce to the skillet. Turn the eggplant and cook until glazed, 1 minute; transfer to a platter, sprinkle with more togarashi and serve.
Togarashi spice blend is available at Asian markets.