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Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 焼きなす

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    Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) on a plate.

    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.

    Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) on a long rectangular plate.

    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.

    Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) on a white plate.

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    4 from 4 votes
    Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu)
    Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu)
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    35 mins

    Japanese grilled eggplant with citrus soy sauce and yuzu pepper. Garnish with bonito flakes and chopped green onion. Enjoy the full flavor of the eggplant with just a little bit of seasoning!

    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: grilled eggplant, japanese eggplant
    Servings: 2
    Author: Namiko Chen
    1. Soak the eggplants in water for 15 minutes.
      Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 1
    2. 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).
      Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 2
    3. Insert a chopstick or skewer to create a hole, which helps to evaporate moisture while cooking.
      Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 3
    4. 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.
      Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 4
    5. 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.
      Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 5
    6. Cut into small pieces and serve on a plate.
      Japanese Grilled Eggplant (Yaki Nasu) 6
    7. 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.
    The Broil Method
    1. Set the oven broiler to high (550 ºF/288 ºC) for 3 minutes before cooking. After step 3 above, place the eggplant on a baking sheet and put in the middle rack of the oven, about 6" (15 cm) away from the heating element. Cook for 10-15 minutes, and then flip to cook the other side for 10 minutes, until the inside is tender and cooked through. Watch the eggplant carefully; if your oven is small/strong, try broiling at medium (500 ºF/260 ºC).

    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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