Grilled Eggplant

Yaki Nasu

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4–5

    .

Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

These eggplants are delectable served with almost any fried or braised meat, fish or poultry dish. Choice in the final seasoning—a sprinkling of dried bonito, a small mound of grated ginger, or a dab of mustard—lets you suit your own mood or menu.

Ingredients

  • 4–5 whole small eggplants (no larger than 5 inches long and 4 inches in diameter at the thickest spot)
  • cup dashi (Basic Soup Stock)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon mirin (syrupy rice wine)

Final seasonings

  • 2–3 tablespoons finely shaved katsuo bushi (bonito) or 1–1½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger or 1–1½ teaspoons commercially prepared hot mustard

Method

Lay the eggplants on a net over direct heat. Grill them over medium heat for about 10–15 minutes, turning them several times. The skin will wrinkle and the pulp soften. Peel or scrape away the skin with a dull knife to expose the tender yellowish pulp beneath. The Japanese like to keep the stems attached, but you can slice them off if you prefer before transferring each eggplant to a small shallow bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine the soup stock, soy sauce and syrupy rice wine and, stirring, bring it to a simmer. Ladle a little of this sauce over each eggplant. If you want to serve the dish cold, chill it now and garnish just before serving. Choose any 1 of the 3 final seasonings suggested above and garnish the top of each eggplant with a bit of it. To eat, scrape the seasoning off the top and stir it into the sauce surrounding the eggplant.