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Fried Aubergine Sandwiches

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

10 Minutes


2 Servings



About the Recipe

The aubergine (or make that eggplant or brinjal or whatever you call it) is one of the most commonly used vegetables in Japanese cooking. Here, it's used in a modern dish to create a delicious alternative take on a hamburger. While this recipe works really well, I can think of a lot of other fillings you could use to pack your aubergine sandwiches once you've mastered the simple technique to make them.


1 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 + extra vegetable oil

for teriyaki sauce:

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp cooking sake

3 tbsp soy sauce


The first thing to do is prepare the vegetables. Slice the aubergine / eggplant with each slice being about 1/4inch or 7 mm in thick. 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 the 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. Use your fingers to gently spread the beef 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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