Japanese Eggplant - Soy-Glazed Donburi

August 18, 2020

Japanese Eggplant - Soy-Glazed Donburi


2 Japanese Eggplants

10 Shiso Leaves or 1 Green Onion

1 Ginger Knob

2 Tbsp Cornstarch

4 Tbsp Neutral-Flavored Oil (separated; use 2 Tbsp at a time)

½ tsp Toasted White Sesame Seeds

4 Tbsp Mirin
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Slice eggplant into ¼ inch slices and sprinkle salt (roughly ½-1 tsp). Set aside for 15 minutes and wipe off the moisture with a paper towel.
Rinse the shiso leaves and dry with a paper towel. Discard the stems. Roll up the shiso leaves and cut into chiffonade strips.
Peel the ginger skin and grate the ginger. You’ll need 1 tsp ginger.
Put 2 Tbsp cornstarch in a small tray and thinly coat the eggplant slices on both sides.
Heat the 2 Tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant slices in a single layer. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Until then, do not touch the eggplants to achieve a nice sear.
When the bottom side is nicely seared, drizzle the rest of oil (2 Tbsp) on top and flip the eggplant slices to cook the other side, about 3-4 minutes.
Once this side is cooked till golden brown, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and add mirin, soy sauce, and grated ginger.
Bring it back to simmer and spoon the sauce over the eggplant a few times. If the sauce got thicken too fast (due to the potato starch), add 1 Tbsp water at a time to loosen a bit. Remove from the heat when the eggplant is well-coated with the sauce.
Serve steamed rice in a donburi bowl (a bit bigger than rice bowl) and drizzle some sauce.
Then place the eggplant slices on top. For presentation, I overlap each slice slightly. Garnish with shiso leaves and sprinkle sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Japanese Eggplants are long, slender, and oblong, averaging 20-25 centimetres in length. This ink-colored fruit can be straight or slightly crooked and has a dark purple or green stem depending on the variety. Its glossy, smooth skin is thin and purple-black. The cream-colored inner flesh is spongy and nearly seedless. When cooked, Japanese eggplants are mild and sweet with a tender, meaty texture.