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


Yakinasu / grilled eggplant

A traditional favorite. The soft, creamy texture of eggplant flesh is enveloped by a smoky aroma from slightly charring the skin, with grated ginger adding a bright note.


3 Japanese eggplant
1 knob ginger
Tiny handful bonito flakes (optional; not in photo)
Soy sauce (for serving; not in photo)


Remove calyx (loose frills around eggplant head), and poke with a skewer overall.


Grill over burner on medium high heat until some parts of skin become slightly charred and flesh becomes soft, about 7-8 minutes.
When you can press down eggplant effortlessly with chopsticks , it is ready.

Meanwhile, grate ginger.


Insert a skewer underneath skin, lift while tearing, and peel off skin. 

Cut off eggplant tops still covered by calyx, tear eggplant lengthwise into 2-4,  and serve with grated ginger and bonito flakes.

Pour over a small amount of soy sauce before eating.

  • Poking eggplant with a skewer is to prevent it from bursting while grilling. If you do not have a skinny skewer handy, you can make one slightly large hole in the center of eggplant by inserting a chopstick all the way through.
  • Some recipes tell you to put grilled eggplant in cold water to slightly chill it; this is not recommended, as it makes eggplant soggy. You can always wait a couple of  minutes to peel skin after grilling or dip your fingers in ice water from time to time while peeling skin.
  • Tearing grilled eggplant can be done easily by first tearing from the head end using your fingernails.
  • Use fresh, firm eggplant with few blemishes. Chinese eggplant is a good substitute.

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