If you’ve been thinking about trying out new ingredients in your cooking, then one of the ingredients you’ll likely have recommended to you is a Japanese Eggplant.
These vegetables are extremely popular amongst those who enjoy Asian cuisine, and can really add a lot to a dish.
So, if you’re wondering what some of the possibilities are when using this vegetable, then allow this guide to help you, and hopefully, you should be able to find plenty of inspiration for your own cooking here.
For the best Japanese Eggplant recipes, read on!
What Is A Japanese Eggplant?
You might be wondering what a Japanese eggplant is, and how it is any different from a typical eggplant. Japanese eggplants are a type of eggplant that is native to Japan and is characterized by its slender shape and mild flavor.
They tend to typically be lighter in color than other eggplant varieties and have a much sweeter taste. The skin of a Japanese eggplant is thinner and smoother, making it easier to cook and eat.
Best Japanese Eggplant Recipes
1. Nasu Dengaku – Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant
What better way to start off this list than with the Nasu Dengaku, which directly translates to “Miso Glazed Eggplant”, and is one of the most common dishes made by using a Japanese eggplant.
The sauce used to coat these eggplants enriches the flavor of the vegetable by sinking into the skin of the eggplant itself, and it is perfectly accompanied by your favorite rice too.
So, if you’re looking for a place to start when it comes to cooking Japanese eggplants, then making your very own Nasu Dengaku is a great place to start.
2. Japanese Eggplant “Unagi”
Reminiscent to Japanese eel dishes, known as “Unagi”, this dish instead makes use of eggplant, which still manages to have a similar texture, and the various different ingredients used, including fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, and more, in order to perfectly replicate the delicious umami flavor you would usually find in this dish.
Serve alongside crisp and fresh bok choy, or some sliced avocado for the best results!
3. Katsu Japanese Eggplant
If you’re a fan of Katsu curry, and let’s face it, who isn’t, then this recipe will most certainly appeal to you, bringing all of the incredible taste of katsu curry with eggplant taking the place of the usual meat proteins that help to make this dish entirely vegan.
Once you learn how to make the delicious batter and breadcrumbs, putting together this delicious dish is super easy, and makes for an especially impressive dish to serve during dinner parties for those who don’t eat meat!
4. Ginger Pork Rolls And Eggplant
If you’re looking to create a truly immense Asian inspired dish, then these ginger-glazed pork rolls with eggplants should most certainly do the trick.
This dish involves a carefully created soy-based ginger marinade that gets infused with the pork to create a distinctive flavor that is almost unparalleled.
Of course, the eggplant used is a welcome addition, and while it might not be the main ingredient, it compliments the pork rolls well, and is definitely worth trying out if you’re looking for new dishes to try and make.
5. Eggplant Agebitashi
Known as Nasu Agebitashi, this dish consists of deep frying the eggplant itself, and then coating it in a delicious and savory broth, which typically consists of mirin, dashi, and soy sauce.
This dish will allow you to taste eggplant like you won’t have before, and will very quickly become a favorite for both you and your family.
The combination of the silky texture of the eggplant is contrasted beautifully by the crispiness of the outer skin as a result of it being deep fried, and it holds the flavor of the broth perfectly too.
6. Japanese Oyaki Eggplant Stuffed Dumplings
If you thought the miso-glazed eggplant tasted great as its own dish, wait until you taste it when it’s stuffed inside a delicious dumpling.
The chewy dough that characterizes the oyaki from other dumplings is as a result of the combination of both buckwheat and wheat flour (see also “15 Buckwheat Recipes“).
These dumplings can have a range of different fillings, and eggplant miso is definitely one of the more common options, so learning how to make these delicious dumplings is a great way to get an authentic look into Asian cuisine, all from the comfort of your own home!
7. Mapo Eggplant
This slightly spicy dish is a Japanese adaptation of a super popular Chinese dish, and has become equally as popular in Japan too, especially when served over hot steamed rice, this dish makes for the perfect weeknight meal, especially if you have a particularly hectic schedule.
The skin of the eggplant becomes much more tender as it is cooked, which allows it to absorb the flavors from the sauce, making each bite of this dish just as tasty as the next.
8. Marinated Teriyaki Eggplant
If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, then chances are you will already be familiar with teriyaki sauces. So, if you’re looking for a great use for your Japanese eggplant, then marinating it in teriyaki sauce is an excellent choice.
This dish is a particularly quick one to make too, and is excellent if you’re seeking to make a delicious Asian-inspired dish, even if you’re struggling to find enough time to cook due to a hectic schedule!
9. Stuffed Japanese Eggplant
When looking for an adequate meat replacement during the summer months, eggplant is always a popular choice amongst vegetarians and vegans, and this recipe is a great example of the potential that Japanese eggplant can have when used properly.
This miso eggplant is filled with walnuts, sauteed onions, and garlic, and seasoned thoroughly with tamari, mirin, and miso too.
You can serve this alongside steamed rice or salad, whichever suits you best, and both will work well alongside this dish!
10. Japanese Eggplant Stir Fry
The sweet and tender nature of Japanese eggplants make them the perfect addition alongside other vegetables when added to a stir-fry, especially with crisp, fresh peppers, as well as delicious herbs and seasoning too.
The secret to ensuring that the eggplant takes on the delicious flavor they are known for is to roast them first, and once you’ve done this, preparing the rest of the dish takes mere minutes to make, which is perfect for those with little time to cook in the evening.
11. Japanese Eggplant Salad
Looking for a delicious summer dish using those amazing Japanese eggplants?
Then this salad recipe should be just what you’re looking for. Seasoned with sesame seed oil, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, ginger root, and mirin, this salad is filled with amazing and bold flavors that will make this dish unforgettable.
This dish is relatively easy to make too, but you just need to be careful to ensure that you don’t overcook the eggplant, as you’ll end up ruining both the taste and the texture of the eggplant, as well as the rest of the salad.
12. Japanese Eggplant And Okra Fish Stir-Fry
Want a twist to your usual Japanese eggplant stir-fry, then why not try this recipe, which is both easy to make, and filled with the incredible smoky, sweet, and savory flavors that eggplant has to offer.
Stir-frys are always a great way to get that distinctive Asian flavor without too much hassle or effort, and the fish in this dish allows you to get the meatiness you want without overpowering the dish in its entirety (see also “Best Rockfish Recipes“).
13. Steamed Eggplant With Shrimp
Many people often disregard the idea of steamed eggplant, with many believing that it lacks much of the complex flavor that so many people desire. However, this recipe is here to prove those people wrong.
The sauce of this dish makes full use of the dried shrimp included in the recipe to fill the eggplant with a delicious umami flavor that just can’t be beaten, so give this recipe a try if you’re looking to take the usual steamed eggplant to the next level (see also “Best Keto Shrimp Recipes To Try“).
14. Grilled Japanese Eggplant With Tahini
Looking to use your Japanese eggplant to create something delicious, then this is a dish for you to try.
This recipe calls for you to grill the eggplant until it is charred, which helps to secure the smokiness that so many people desire when cooking Japanese eggplant.
The tahini is also particularly easy to make, so you should also have no problems making this dish for yourself at home.
15. Japanese Eggplant With Chicken And Thai Basil
More of an Asian fusion dish rather than being strictly Japanese, this dish is perfect for date nights, and is something that is sure to provide plenty of great aromas and flavors for you to savor as you eat it.
We hope that you have enjoyed this guide to Japanese eggplants, and that you get to try these recipes out soon, enjoy!
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