Fried Stuffed Eggplant

Nasu No Hasami Agé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

    .

Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

Dark, sleek eggplants are slit and stuffed with a pale, seasoned shrimp filling, then dusted with cornstarch and deep-fried to make an unusually tasty dish. Fresh lemon or lime wedges make an attractive and delicious garnish. Serve the stuffed eggplant with Egg Drop Soup and make use of the leftover yolk. String Beans in Thick Bean and Sesame Sauce or tart Green Sea Salad plus rice could round out the meal nicely.

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • ½ pound uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon saké (rice wine)
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1–1½ tablespoons egg white
  • 6–8 small eggplants, each no longer than 4 inches
  • 1–1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges
  • Soy sauce for dipping

Method

Pat dry the cleaned shrimp with paper towels and coarsely chop it before feeding it into a food processor, hand grinder or other mechanical device for chopping food fine. Or be more traditional and mash the chopped shrimp in a suribachi to a thick paste.

Season the shrimp with the minced ginger and rice wine, then sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cornstarch over all. Let it stand a few seconds, then stir it in before adding the egg white. Mix the paste well and chill it while you cut the eggplants.

Trim the tips of the eggplants before cutting each in half lengthwise. Trim off the rounded uncut sides of each piece (save one of these for testing the temperature of the oil), then slit each lengthwise to within 1 inch of the stem. Carefully open and dust the inside with cornstarch. Score top and bottom of each piece with shallow strokes. Stuff the eggplants with some of the shrimp paste and lightly dust the outside of each stuffed end with more cornstarch.

Heat your oil to approximately 350 degrees F. (a sliver of eggplant will float on the surface, the oil bubbling) and fry the stuffed eggplants 3 or 4 at a time, skin side down. Fry for about 5–6 minutes, turning the eggplants several times. Drain well on paper towels and serve hot with lemon or lime wedges. Provide each person with a small dish of soy sauce for dipping.