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Fried Eggplant Mini Sandwiches with Beef Patties in Teriyaki sauce..

Are these sandwiches? Or might you call them eggplant mini-burgers? In Japanese, they're called "nasu no hasami yaki' which translates as "fried folded eggplant". Whatever you choose to call them, I can assure you they make an unusually deliciously lunch, dinner or suppertime treat and a great way to use eggplant in your cooking.

You start with a large eggplant / aubergine, one of Japan's most popular vegetables - called nasu in Japanese. One large eggplant should be sufficient for 2 servings. Slice it into 16 - 18 slices. The slices should each be about 1/4 inch or 7 mm thick, which means they will cook quite quickly and allow the beef inside to cook as well. As you probably know, eggplant can have a slightly bitter taste when cooked. The way to remove this taste is to give the slices a bath in cold water for around 15 minutes. If the pieces float in the water, just put a small plate or saucer on the top to keep them immersed.

While your eggplant slices are having their bath, you can prepare your "sandwich filling". In Japan, a pork or chicken filling is normally the way to go, but I use beef in my recipe for a richer flavour and also because it goes great with the teriyaki sauce that i use to finsh the dish off. The filling is a combination of minced beef, minced shiitake mushroom and minced spring onions. This is all bound together with a tablespoon of plain flour and seasoned with salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix and then use your hands to knead the mix into a nice sticky lump.

Next, bring the eggplant slices out of their bath and pat dry. Pair the slices so each pair are the same size (IE, pair them in the order that you cut them.) You should end up with 8 or 9 pairs. They will vary in size but that is part of the charm of this recipe, I think.

Now, using your hands, you scoop up a small lump (maybe 1 heaped tbsp) of the patty mix and place it on one of the eggplant slices. Gently press to form the patty to match the eggplant slice in size. (The Youtube tutorial below shows you how to do this.) Next, place the other eggplant slice from the pair on top. Press down gently to form your sandwich. Repeat until you've used up all the eggplant slices.

Now you are ready to fry your eggplant sandwiches. Pour about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil into a hot frying pan and adjust the heat to medium. (Depending on the size of your frying pan, you might need to cook your eggplant sandwiches in two batches, which is what I do.) Fry for 5 minutes on the medium heat then gently turn the sandwiches over and fry for a further 4 minutes. When the 4 minutes are up, I usually flip once more and cook for a final 2 minutes to make sure that the beef patty is nicely cooked through. If any of the patties still look a little "oozy" then use chopsticks or a pair of forks to hold them upright and cook the edges a little. (Watch the Youtube tutorial and you'll see what I mean.) Once this is done, remove the eggplnt sandwiches from the pan onto a square of kitchen paper to rest.

Finally, you can use the same pan to create your drizzling triyaki sauce - this is a mixture of brown sugar, cooking sake, mirin and soy sauce. You turn the heat up to high and boil to reduce the sauce by a bout a third and evaporate the alcohol, which should take 3 to 4 minutes. The result is a lovely teriyaki sauce with a sweet soy flavour - it's an ideal accompaniment to your eggplant sandwiches.

Now, all that remains is to plate up and enjoy. (I guarantee, you will enjoy these!)

If this recipe has got your digestive juices flowing, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Fried Eggplant Mini Sandwiches with Beef Patties or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.



(make 2 servings)

1 large eggplant/aubergine

1 fresh shiitake mushroom

3 spring onions

200g / 7oz minced beef

a little salt & pepper

1 tbsp plain flour

3 - 4 tbsp corn flour

2 - 3 tbsp vegetable oil

for the teriyaki sauce:

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp cooking sake

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp mirin


how to:

The first thing to do is prepare the vegetables. Slice the aubergine / eggplant with each slice being about 1/4inch or 7 mm in thickness. A large eggplant should give you about 16 - 18 slices.

When you have sliced up the eggplant, place the slices in a bowl and cover with water for around 15 minutes. This will remove the bitterness.  If the slices float, place a small plate on top of them to keep them under the water. When the 15 minutes is up, drain the slices and set aside.

Next, thinly slice the rinsed shiitake mushroom, then mince the slices and put them in a small bowl.

Remove the root ends of spring onions. Slice and mince them as you did with the mushroom.  When you've finished mincing, add them to the bowl along with the minced shiitake mushroom.

Next, put the minced beef in a large bowl. Add the minced shiitake and spring onion. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the tablespoon of plain flour.   Mix everything together really well until you have a lump of raw beef and vegetables for your patties.

Set up your eggplant slices in pairs that are roughly the same size. Then, take up about 1 - 1.5 heaped tablespoonfuls of the beef mixture in your hand. Take 1 eggplant slice in your other hand and put the beef mixture onto the slice. Using your fingers, gently spread the mixture evenly until it matches the size of the eggplant slice. Then, take the second slice to create your "sandwich". Lightly press the slices together and shape the beef patty inside until you get an even filling.

Repeat with the rest of eggplant slices and the rest of the beef patty mixture.

Next, spoon 3 - 4 tbsp of cornflour into a small bowl. Cover each eggplant sandwich in a good coating of cornflour including the edges.

Now, onto the cooking. Heat 2 - 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a hot frying pan. Adjust the heat to medium and place the eggplant sandwiches in the pan. (You may need to fry in two batches). Fry for 5 minutes over the medium heat.

After 5 minutes, flip the sandwiches over and cook for another 4 minutes, then flip them again and cook for about another 2 minutes to make sure that the beef patty mixture is cooked. If not, you can flip the eggplant sandwiches again and fry another 1 - 2 minutes.

When they're done remove the eggplant sandwiches to a plate with a square of kitchen paper to rest.

Next, use the same pan to make your quick teriyaki sauce.

Combine the sugar, cooking sake, soy sauce and mirin in the frying pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and keep boiling until the alcohol has evaporated and the teriyaki sauce reduced by about one third. This should take about 3 - 4 minutes.

Plate up your eggplant sandwiches and drizzle over the teriyaki sauce.


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