Although eggplants are available throughout the year in most parts of the United States, they’re particularly good toward the end of the summer, when the hot sun seems to ripen them most gently. The pungent bean sauce in this recipe makes a nice contrast to the subtle sweetness of the flesh.
Versions of this classic dish appear on most Japanese restaurant menus in America, where they’re often listed as nasu no shigi yaki. Nasu is eggplant, but shigi is the name of a long-beaked bird native to Japan. The elongated shape of Japanese eggplants reminds the Japanese of the bird. This name should only be used when slender eggplants are sliced in half, lengthwise. Here I make use of the bulbous American eggplant, cut into thick rounds.
Shallowly score the flesh of the eggplant on both sides of each slice in a crosshatch pattern. This will help to cook the eggplant quickly and make eating it easier later.
Preheat the broiler at its highest setting.
You’ll need oil at a depth of at least
Spread a rounded tablespoon of the mixture over one side of each eggplant slice. Place the slices about
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.