It’s Columbus Day in the US and I hope you are enjoying the long holiday weekend with your family and friends. Today I’m sharing a very easy Japanese eggplant dish called Yaki Nasu (it means Grilled Eggplant in Japanese). Part of the reason for sharing this recipe is because I received a lot of requests for eggplant recipes from readers. Grilled Eggplant is a simple and traditional Japanese eggplant recipe we enjoy at home.
If you are familiar with the Japanese cuisine, you are probably aware already that we place more emphasis on the natural flavor of the food instead of adding spices or seasonings. Japanese Grilled Eggplant is definitely one of the dishes that we enjoy the full flavor of the ingredient with just a little bit of seasoning. This recipe is very easy, but pay attention to the preparation part as it’s the key to keeping the eggplant juicy.
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- 3 Japanese eggplants (or Chinese long eggplants)
- Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) - Omit for vegetarian
- Chopped green onion
- Ito Togarashi (Korean Chili Threads) for garnish (optional)
- Soak the eggplants in water for 15 minutes.
- Make an thin incision around the eggplant and also lengthwise at 3 locations so that it’s easier to peel off the skin later (think peeling banana).
- Insert a chopstick or skewer to create a hole, which helps to evaporate moisture while cooking.
- Use a mesh/wire rack and grill eggplant on high heat. Do you see the steam coming off from eggplant? Grill until the skin gets completely burnt and the entire eggplant becomes wilted. Remove from the heat.
- Dip your fingers in iced water and start peeling the skin off. You can peel off the skin similar to a banana since there are several incisions already made. You have to peel it off quickly before the purple skin color transfer to the nice green eggplant color.
- Cut into small pieces and serve on a plate.
- Sprinkle katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and green onions. I also put some Ito Togarashi (Red chili pepper threads). Serve with Ponzu and Yuzu Kosho, or soy sauce and grated ginger.