Japanese Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant (Nasu no Agebitashi)

Japanese Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant (Nasu no Agebitashi)
Japanese Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant (Nasu no Agebitashi)

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)

(4 servings)

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.


16 thoughts on “Japanese Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant (Nasu no Agebitashi)

  1. Hey! Just found your blog and love the stuff you have on here. I’m Vietnamese so I always appreciate some Asian vegan dishes! =)

    – Jenn


    1. Hi Jenn. Very nice to meet you. I love Vietnamese flavor. Would love to read more about Vietnamese cooking on your blog.

      P.S. I’ve been thinking about starting yoga. I actually tried it for about two times in a yoga studio near my house. I found it to be difficult and the pace was too fast for me. Since I was new, I couldn’t follow everyone. Then I felt embarrassed and discouraged so I stop going. I think I might give it another try again. Do you have any suggestion for yoga beginners?

      1. Oh man, I just finished helping my mom make this Vietnamese tomato noodle soup called Bun Rieu. We make a VEGAN version of it because I don’t eat meat and I prefer not to have the crab in it. I would love post the recipe soon and hopefully you’ll be able to try it out soon!
        Yoga is so great. I started in March and it’s the ONLY thing that I’ve kept up with physically. It is a pretty challenging exercise; many people think that it’s just stretching but it requires a lot of strength, balance, and patience. I’m sorry you had a bad experience but don’t be embarrassed! Just laugh it off; I’m sure the yoga community near your house is very supportive.There are people at different level at every yoga class. I suggest going to a “gentle yoga”, “yin yoga”, and “bikram” yoga. You hold the poses longer so you’d at least be able to get into the poses and learn its name. “power yoga” and “vinyasa yoga” can be very fast-paced and for intermediate strong bodies. Let me know if you have any other questions! I hope you give it another try. =)

      2. YES YES YES! I would love to learn how to make Bun Rieu! Will you post the recipe pretty please?

        Yeah I definitely went to the wrong yoga class then. The yoga studio is called Core Power Yoga. I went to a beginners class, but it was beginner power yoga. I will try another yoga studio and find a “gentler” class. Hoping that I can stick to it this time. Thanks for the great advice!

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