- 1 pound okra
- 1 pound thick asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1/2 pound fresh shiitake or large button mushrooms, stems removed
- 6 slender Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup white miso
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- Trim the stems off the okra; do not cut into the pods. Arrange the okra side by side and thread them in small groups on 2 parallel bamboo skewers. Treat the asparagus the same way. Threat the shiitake caps onto a skewer, 3 or 4 per skewer; the caps should lie flat. Using a sharp knife, make shallow crisscross cuts on both sides of each eggplant half. Transfer all the vegetables to a platter. Brush with the sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk the miso with the sake, mirin, sugar and mayonnaise.
- Light a grill. When the fire is hot, grill the eggplants, cut side down, for 3 to 4 minutes or until nicely browned. Turn the eggplants and brush with the miso sauce. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes longer, until the bottoms are nicely browned and the flesh is soft. Transfer the eggplants to a platter and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame seeds.
- Grill the okra, asparagus and shiitakes, turning, for about 4 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. Transfer the vegetables to the platter, sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and serve.
Belgian wheat beer pairs wonderfully with vegetables because it's light and dry. Try Blanche de Bruges, which is flavored with coriander, orange peel and aromatic peppers.