All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Nasu no yakibitashi / sauteed eggplant marinated in light broth

A lighter version of agebitashi (deep-fried and marinated), which is probably more common with eggplant. Quickly sauteing and steaming make eggplant as soft and creamy as when deep-fried. A great companion for meals and drinks.


2 Japanese or Chinese eggplant
1 & 1/2 tbsp oil (not in photo)
1 knob ginger (for serving; not in photo)

For ohitashi marinade
200 cc katsuo-kobu dashi
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1 & 1/2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce


In a small pot or heat-resistant container, put all ingredients for marinade, and bring to boil.
Remove from heat, and let cool.


Slice eggplant 4-5 mm thick.


Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in frying pan, and saute eggplant slices in a single layer.
When bottom is lightly colored, flip, cover, and cook for 30 seconds until soft.

Immediately put in marinade.
Repeat with the rest of eggplant slices.

Marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight.


Serve with grated ginger on top.

  • Japanese and Chinese eggplant have relatively soft skin, and peeling is unnecessary.
  • Depending on the eggplant, cut surfaces quickly turn brown. If using eggplant with this tendency, soak it in cold water for 5-10 minutes before it starts to discolor, especially if you are not going to saute immediately. Japanese eggplant used to have this tendency to discolor, but not anymore.
  • Katsuo dashi is OK, too. I prefer using katsuo dashi for ohitashi with green leafy vegetables for its straightforward taste, and katsuo-kobu dashi for ohitashi that contains non-leafy vegetables for a more complex taste -- a matter of personal preference.
  • The above marinade has more soy sauce than my usual ohitashi recipe (1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce)  for non-leafy greens, because the oil from sauteing covers up the taste of salt.
  • When serving, some marinade is poured to moisten the dish and prevent it from looking dry, but the marinade is not for consumption. Drinking it would just cause you to take in extra sodium and oil.
  • Yakibitashi is a type of ohitashi. “Yaki” implies grilling or sauteing. The “age” in agebitashi implies deep-frying. “Bitashi” (from hitashi) and ohitashi indicate soaking or marinating.

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