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


Mushinasu no chuuka-ae / steamed eggplant in Chinese dressing

A light eggplant dish with a Chinese twist.


1 small American eggplant or 3-5 Japanese/Chinese eggplant (340 g in photo)
3 shiso perilla leaves (optional)

For dressing
1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil (not in photo)
1/4 tsp tobanjan chili bean paste
1 small clove garlic
5-6 cm green onion (white section)


Skin and quarter eggplant.
Slice into 1cm thick, and soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes to prevent discoloration.


Finely chop green onion, grate garlic, and thinly slice shiso.


Mix all ingredients for dressing, including garlic, green onion and sesame oil.

Mix well, and set aside.


Lightly pat dry eggplant, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 6 minutes.

When eggplant is done, transfer to a bowl.
Pour dressing, and mix well.


Top with shiso before serving.

  • When buying American eggplant, select firmer, smaller and skinnier ones. These tend to have fewer seeds than larger eggplant.
  • Microwaving time is approximately 2 minutes per 100 g of eggplant.
  • If using a steamer, steam for 20-25 minutes.
  • If you use Japanese or Chinese eggplant, skinning is optional, as its skin is softer. You can skin half of eggplant and keep the skin on the rest for visual impact in the final dish.
  • Thinly sliced green onion (green section) is a good substitute for shiso.
  • If time allows, chill in fridge to turn this into a cold side dish. Eggplant is known to lower your body temperature, and by chilling, it will become a pleasant summer dish that really cools you down. 

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