Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
1 cup bonito flakes
3 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise
8 shishito peppers, halved and seeded
canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup mugwort leaves
12 cherry tomatoes, half ripe, half green
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 thumb-sized chunks fresh ginger, 1 grated
1/4 cup tatsoi flowers, to garnish
10 nasturtium leaves, to garnish
5 scallions, greens only, sliced, to garnish
1. Bring a saucepan of 4 cups water to a boil over high. Add the bonito flakes and cook for 5 minutes, then strain, discarding the bonito flakes.
2. Lightly crosshatch the eggplant in about 1/4-inch intervals along all sides, then cut into 1-inch chunks.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium and add the shishitos. Cook, turning as needed, until charred all over, about 5 minutes.
4. Heat out 2-inches of canola oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F. Mix the tempura batter and add the tomatoes and mugwort leaves, tossing to coat. Working in batches, add the tomatoes and mugwort leaves into the oil and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the eggplant (un-battered) and cook until softened and black, about 7 minutes.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup of the dashi broth, the mirin, soy sauce, and grated ginger.
6. To assemble, place the eggplant, tomatoes, and mugwort in a bowl. Drizzle with the sauce and top with the herbs and flowers and