If you read my recipe blog regularly, you probably know that I love aubergine. I think it is a much under rated vegetable here in the UK, unlike in Japan where it is one of the most popular vegetables in the kitchen. Aubergine is good for you, it contains high amounts of anti-oxidants as well as plenty of trace minerals and elemtns such as folate, copper, magnesium and iron. Aubergine is also very good at soaking up different flavours. In this recipe, the piece of aubergine are fried in sesame oil and the flesh of the aubergine soaks up the lovely, nutty flavour of the oil as the aubergine softens in the pan. The rich flavours make this a great meat free alternative to a meat dish.
Some people complain that aubergine has a bitter taste - that is easily removed - once you've prepped your aubergine just immerse it in water for 10 - 20 minutes and the flesh will lose its bitter after taste. Drain and rinse and you're ready to cook.
Back to the recipe - this dish is a "donburi" meaning that it is served on a bed of rice. So, it makes a great one bowl lunch or supper. It makes for quite a filling dish. If you want to bulk up the rice a little, you can add some barley to it before you cook it as I did here. The sauce is a mixture of mirin and soy sauce with a little extra sugar and some potato flour to thicken it. I garnish this dish with some chopped spring onions and white sesame for a little colour, some more vegeable in my diet and a little more protein form the seeds. Obviously, the choice of garnish is entirely up to you.
If you like the sound of this vegetarian/vegan friednly one bowl meal, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Sweet Soy Aubergine Donburi or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The wirtten recipe is just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 2 servings)
1 medium aubergine (300g)
1 - 2 tbsp sesame oil
for the sauce:
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin*
1 tsp potato flour
450g cooked rice
2 spring onions
some toasted sesame seeds for topping
*if you prefer, you can use 1 tbsp of honey instead of the mirin. if you do this, then use only 1/2 tbsp of potato flour or your sauce will be too thick
remove the stalks from an aubergines. cut them in half lengthways, then cut into 1 cm slices
put the aubergine slices in a bowl, cover with water and soak for at least 10 mins before
put the sugar, soy sauce, mirin* and potato flour in a small bowl and mix together well. set aside
rinse the spring onions and finely slice them
heat a large frying pan. add 1 tbsp of sesame oil and let it get hot. add the aubergine slices and fry until they are lightly browned on both sides. keep the slices moving around the pan to ensure they all brown evenly on both sides. if at any point the pan becomes dry (the aubergine will soak up the sesame oil quite quickly,) add another tbsp of sesame oil
once all the aubergine slices are nicely browned, add the soy/mirin sauce to the pan. quickly stir and give everything a shake and then remoce from the heat
to assemble your donburi bowls, place the cooked rice in 2 bowls. place 1/2 of the aubergine on top of the rice in each bowl. top with 1/2 the chopped spring onion in each bowl. last, sprinkle with the sesame seeds
your Sweet Soy Aubergine Donburi is ready to serve.