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Our Best Japanese Eggplant Recipes

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  • Discover the deliciousness of eggplant with our best recipes! The fans’ favorites include soy-glazed eggplant rice bowls, grilled eggplant with miso glaze, pork rolls with eggplants, and more.

    Easy Japanese Eggplant Recipes

    If I had to name one vegetable that can get me really excited, it has to be the mighty eggplant! But like many people, I wasn’t into it until much later as an adult that I’ve grown to savor its many remarkable qualities. Its velvety and almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. Its ability to take on flavors. Its wonderful versatility.

    Eggplant reminds me of tofu. By itself, it doesn’t have much of a flavor, but when cooked and seasoned properly, it can soak up almost any flavors. The sturdy yet spongy character also makes it rather one-of-a-kind. That’s what I love about cooking with eggplant. Once you get to know it better, you will come to appreciate it.

    For Japanese recipes, look for Japanese eggplant that is long and slender, with deep purple skin. To give you some delicious ideas, I’ve gathered the very best eggplant recipes that are well tested and loved by our readers. I hope you enjoy them too!

    Our Best Japanese Eggplant Recipes

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    1. Soy-Glazed Eggplant Donburi

    A Japanese rice bowl containing Soy Glazed Eggplant Donburi topped with julienned shiso and toasted sesame seeds.

    This vegetarian rice bowl features crispy pan-seared eggplant slices that are smothered with an amazing sweet soy sauce. The simplicity of the dish puts the spotlight on all that eggplant can offer.

    ‘This was absolutely delicious. Crunchy, salty and sweet, and it came together very quickly. The best part- it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients that aren’t already in the pantry. Will definitely be making this one again.’ – Mae

    2. Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant

    A Japanese white plate containing ginger pork rolls with eggplant garnished with shiso leaves on top.

    Similar concept to bacon rollups, this Japanese version calls for thinly sliced pork. The inside is stuffed with eggplant and the rolls are pan-fried until golden brown before coating with a sweet-savory sauce. It’s homey, tasty and goes very well with rice.

    ‘This is honestly one of – if not the – best things I have ever tasted. I followed this recipe closely and it paid off.’ – Kennedy

    3. Eggplant Agebitashi

    A white ceramic bowl containing eggplant agebitashi.

    In this recipe, the quality of the eggplant is accentuated by deep frying and then soaked in a light savory broth. Known as Agebitashi, the unique Japanese cooking method presents eggplant in a new light.

    ‘I made this for dinner this evening. It was outstanding! The daikon and ginger condiments are amazing.’ – Debbie

    4. Miso Pork & Eggplant Stir-Fry

    A bowl containing Miso Pork and Eggplant Stir-Fry over steamed rice.

    Eggplant and pork make a delicious and hearty stir fry! The savory miso sauce ties everything together.

    ‘My 85-year old mother said that it reminded her of the eggplant with miso that her mother made for her when she was a child.’ – Gayle 

    5. Oyaki (Japanese Stuffed Dumplings with Eggplant)

    A dark plate containing Kabocha and Eggplant Oyaki (Japanese Stuffed Dumplings).

    Fancy a weekend cooking project that will take you to the streets of Japan? Try these Oyaki dumplings, a popular snack in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan. You can use different fillings, but I love the ones stuffed with eggplant. It’s creamy, tender, and bursting with savory flavor.

    ‘I had never heard of oyaki in my Asian dumpling explorations before. But I’m glad I found it – these are terrific! I whipped up 15 each of the eggplant and kabocha oyaki on short notice for a potluck and wasn’t able to source buckwheat flour or shiso in time. Even so, they were some tasty dumplings.’ – Todd

    6. Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti 

    A white plate containing Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti.

    Determined to convert eggplant skeptics? This Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti will turn them into an instant fan. The pasta dish combines the deeply flavored tomato meat sauce with crispy panko-crusted eggplant in the most scrumptious and comforting manner.

    ‘Tried this tonight, and it was delicious! Cheated a little on the sauce, used Rao’s, and added Italian sausage and herbs. Next time, will make it from scratch.’ – Kuulei

    7. Miso Glazed Eggplant

    A white plate containing Miso Glazed Eggplant.

    When in doubt, you can always count on this easy Miso Glazed Eggplant recipe. The eggplants are first glazed with an umami miso mixture and then grilled until crispy on the outside while retaining its creamy texture on the inside. 15 minutes is all you need for a great vegetable side!

    ‘I really love Japanese culture and food. I make this a lot. It is a fantastic recipe.’ – Lucila

    8. Eggplant Unagi Donburi

    Eggplant & Unagi Over Rice in a Japanese blue and white bowl.

    You won’t believe this hearty, savory rice bowl with unagi eel and eggplant can come together in just 30 minutes!

    ‘Instead of unagi we used mackerel since unagi is really expensive in our country. I Just have to say, this recipe was amazing! So much flavor! This is definitely one to be made on a repeat.’ – Miki

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    For More Inspiring Vegetable Recipes:

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