Die Hard Themed Cooking - Miso aubergine burger with katsu

Die Hard Themed Cooking - Miso aubergine burger with katsu

This is the first in a series of recipes that I created for a cooking competition that I am currently a part of. It’s specifically a BBQ competition run by Globalitc charcoal company, and the third round was themed “TV Dinners” - the idea being you had to BBQ a meal based on something from, or inspired by, a TV show or movie.

There are lots of great food references in films and TV, and I finally settled on a Die Hard themed meal (inspired by the movie rather than taken from scenes).

My meal was a trio of burgers followed by a dessert, this is the first of the three movies. If you aren’t a fan of the movie some of the references may be lost on you, but it all turned out incredibly tasty, so don’t worry if you aren’t nerding out as much as I am on this one!

Burger 1) The Joe Takagi

Named after the CEO of the Nakatomi corporation, the residents of Nakatomi plaza, the setting for the movie and one of the first casualties of Hans Gruber. This is a vegetarian burger and a nod towards the Japanese origins of the fictional company.

It has a base of charred aubergine, layered with pickled cucumber and radish, deep fried miso aubergine and topped with katsu curry sauce. The smokiness of the charred aubergine sits wonderfully along side the tang of the pickles and the sweet and savoury curry sauce.

This was possibly my favourite of the three burgers!

  • 2 people
  • 10 minutes
  • 10 minutes


  • A few slices of cucumber per burger
  • A few radishes - we will cut thin slices and you want a few slices per burger
  • 2 large aubergine
  • Katsu curry sauce (easily available in supermarkets)
  • Cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • breadcrumbs and sesame seeds
  • Bread rolls of your choice


  1. Thinly slice the radish and cucumber and place in a container with some vinegar, so they are just submerged
  2. Cut one of the aubergine into patty sizes, you can have them as thin or thick as you like
  3. Salt the aubergine and leave them to draw out some of the liquid
  4. Meanwhile, mix the miso, mirin, honey, soy sauce, olive oil in a small dish until combined
  5. Setup your BBQ for direct heat and let it get really hot - we will be deep frying on the BBQ so it will need to heat the oil well (you can shallow fry the aubergine, or oven cook if you prefer)
  6. Carefully place the other aubergine directly onto the hot coals on the BBQ, you will need to watch this, it should start to char quite gently and slowly deflate as it cooks. Once it is nicely deflated and charred take it off the coals and leave to cool a little
  7. Rinse the salt of the sliced aubergine and pat dry, then brush with the miso-mirin marinade
  8. Dip the marinaded aubergine in the breadcrumbs and then sprinkle with sesame seeds
  9. Put a large pan or casserole dish with vegetable oil on the grill above the direct heat. We want to get it to about 180 degrees (check with your normal thermometer probe)
  10. Carefully lower the breaded aubergine slices into the hot oil and cook for about 6-8 minutes, turning over mid way
  11. When the charred aubergine has cooled, gently peel off the skin - it should come off easily leaving the pale, mushy flesh inside, chop or mash the aubergine flesh
  12. When constructing the burger layer mashed charred aubergine, pickles, aubergine patty, pickles, patty and top with the katsu curry sauce

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