This recipe is adapted from Let’s Cook Japanese Food. It called for Japanese or Chinese eggplants, but I didn’t have time to go to Asian supermarket for these so I just used regular eggplants. If you can, I would still recommend Japanese or Chinese eggplants. Both the texture and taste are softer. The original recipe is to deep fry the eggplants. But I want this dish to be healtheir and just sauteed them in a wok with a bit of oil. This dish tastes good even when it’s cold. I didn’t think this dish is spicy at all. But it was savory, sweet, and sour all at the same time. The flavor is quite addicting.
Japanese Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant (Nasu no Agebitashi)
Canola or other neutral oil
8 Japanese or Chinese eggplants, about 2 pounds total weight, trimmed and cut crosswise into 2-inch-thick pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili bean paste
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons minced green onion, including tender green tops
Heat up a little bit of oil in a pan. Saute eggplants until it is cooked. Place the cooked eggplants in serving bowl.
To make the sauce, in a small saucepan, stir together the garlic, ginger, mirin, soy sauce, vinegar, chili bean paste, and sugar. Place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. remove from the heat.
Pour the sauce into a serving bowl, add the eggplant, and mix lightly to coat all the eggplant with the sauce.
Top with the green onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.