Recipe: Silky Japanese Simmered Eggplant

Eggplant always surprise.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Eggplant recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Japanese recipes here and here. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

Simmered Sautéed Eggplant

Japanese Simmered Sautéed Eggplant

This is one of those food things that is an absolute surprise! The sort of recipe you look for when you have that “too many eggplants in the fridge” feeling. You find something that looks like it might be Ok and that also provides that bit of a challenge if you want it, and then you find it is so yummy that it becomes a staple in the household and you rush out to plant your own huge eggplant patch!

This is more of a summer dish in Japan (but don’t let that stop you!). Eggplants are supposed to be the best antidote to Japan’s hot and sultry summers.

This dish has to be eaten to be believed! How can eggplant taste so not-like-eggplant? Make your stock fresh, for best results (give it some Asian flavours) – its so easy and the leftover can be used to make miso soup. I find that the eggplant is even better left to cool to room temperature.

1 Eggplant 1 Tblspn mirin vegetable oil
2 tspns sugar 1 cup vegetable stock 2 Tblspns dark soy sauce
1 piece of kombu  1 Tblspn dulse flakes or nori flakes (optional)  1/2 – 1 tspn light miso paste

Cut the eggplant in half lengthways and score the skin on the diagonal very finely. Then cut into 1.25 cm slices. Put them to soak in cold water for 10 minutes, then squeeze gently to remove any bitter juices.

Heat 2 Tblspn oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Add the eggplant slices and sauté them over medium heat for 5 minutes until they are half cooked. Ladle in enough stock to cover and then add the mirin, kombu, sugar and soy sauce. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the eggplant slices are very soft and the simmering liquid has reduced somewhat. Remove the kombu and stir through the miso paste.

Choose small deep bowls for serving. Divide the eggplant among the bowls, spooning over a little of the cooking liquid. Garnish with some lengths of chives.

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This is cross posted with our sister site, A Life Time of Cooking. It appears here as part of the Retro Recipes series.

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