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


Nasu to sakura ebi no itameni / saute-simmered eggplant and sakura ebi dried shrimp

A slightly sweet, strongly flavored eggplant dish. A great companion for plain rice or sake. Tastes good hot or cold.


2 nasu Japanese eggplant or 1 Chinese eggplant
1 1/2 tbsp sakura ebi dried shrimp
120 cc dashi or water
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp oil (for sauteing; not in photo)


Cut eggplant lengthwise in half.
Make crisscross pattern cuts on surface, and cut crosswise in half.

(If this process takes time, soak eggplant in water to prevent discoloration.)


In a frying pan, heat oil, and saute eggplant for about 2 minutes, starting with the skin-side, on medium high heat. 


When eggplant is roughly coated with oil, add sakura ebi, dashi (water), sake, mirin, soy sauce and brown sugar.

Cook until liquid is almost gone.
Flip once or twice for even flavoring.  

  • Sakura ebi function as dashi, and water works fine with this recipe. Use dashi if you have extra on hand. A combination of water and dashi is also fine.
  • Making cuts on eggplant surface helps nasu to cook faster and absorb flavor. Aside from the crisscross cuts above, making diagonal or straight-line cuts is also common, as seen with nasu no itameni (saute-simmered eggplant in broth).
  • Make sure to saute skin side of eggplant first – the flesh side absorbs oil like sponge, and if you saute the flesh side first, there would be no oil left to saute the skin side.
  • With the above recipe, 1 tsp oil basically disappears after sauteing the skin side, leaving only a tiny bit of oil for the flesh side; however, do not add oil (especially cold oil), as results would be greasy.
  • For a richer, creamier eggplant texture, use 2-3 tsp oil.
  • Sesame oil would add a richer, toasty note.

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