6 tablespoons shiro miso* (white fermented soybean paste)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3 3/4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional for brushing pan
6 Asian eggplants(about 8 inches), halved lengthwise
2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat broiler.

Whisk together shiro miso, vinegar, water, sugar, and ginger until sugar is dissolved.

Brush a large shallow baking pan with oil and arrange eggplant, cut sides up, in pan. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons oil (total). Broil eggplant 4 to 6 inches from heat until it begins to turn pale golden and soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush generously with miso mixture and broil 2 minutes more. Brush eggplant with miso again and rotate pan 180 degrees (do not turn eggplant over), then continue to broil until eggplant is tender and glaze is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with scallions.

*Available at Asian markets, specialty foods shops, and Uwajimaya (800-889-1928).

Makes 6 side-dish servings.