Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Here's my latest recipe - fried aubergine in a spicy soy sauce marinade.
I know aubergine (or you might know it as eggplant, melanzana, brinjal, patlican or berenjena depending on where you come from!) isn't a very popular vegetable choice here in the UK but it is used a lot more in Japanese cooking and Asian cooking generally. (In Japan, aubergine is known as Nasu).
Aubergine is a good source of fibre and the minerals manganese, magnesium and copper but I think the reason for its popularity in Japan is the way its soft flesh absorbs flavourings so well. That's certainly the case with this dish - frying the aubergine softens the flesh and let's it absorb the full flavour of the soy based marinade. I often hear people in the UK remarking that they find aubergine quite bitter - you can remedy this by soaking the cut pieces of aubergine in water before cooking them - 15 - 20 minutes should do the trick.
Once you've cooked the aubergine, it takes only minutes for the marinade to be sucked up into the flesh. This recipe makes a great veggie side dish or you could pile it over a bowl of rice for a substantial, very healthy donburi style lunch or supper.
If you would like to give this a try, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Spicy Fried Eggplant or scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy marinating! Kurumi XXXX.
Why not try out some other Japanese aubergine dishes, such as my vegetarian Aubergine Katsu recipe?
Aubergine/Eggplant with a spicy Soy sauce marinade
(makes 2 servings)
1 aubergine (300g)
1 spring onion
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp toban djan (chilli bean sauce)*
1/2 tsp ginger paste or chopped ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
veg oil for deep frying
some kitchen paper
*toban djan is a chinese chilli bean sauce. if you can’t get hold of it, you can use chilli powder (1/4 tsp) as a substitute.
cut the aubergine into 4 pieces lengthways, then diagonally slice each 1/4 into pieces
soak in water for 10 mins then drain well
separate the green stems of the spring onion and slice finely into fine matchsticks
soak them in water in a bowl for 10 mins, so that they curl up
to make the marinade, add the soy sauce, vinegar, toban djan, ginger, sesame oil, mirin & sugar to a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved
fill a pan with 1.5 cm of veg oil and deep fry the aubergine for about 2 mins
when the aubergine is light gold in colour, remove it and drain on the kitchen paper
steep the aubergine in the marinade for 10 mins and serve topped with the spring onion matchsticks