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


Nasu no agebitashi / deep-fried eggplant in light broth

A heavenly creamy and juicy eggplant dish for summer. Okra makes marinade broth thick and smooth, while grated ginger clears away the oiliness of eggplant. Since eggplant is deep-fried, a small amount is very satisfying.


2 nasu Japanese eggplant or 1 Chinese eggplant
2 okra
1 small knob ginger
Oil (to deep-fry eggplants; not in photo)
Pinch salt (to remove fuzz on okra; not in photo)

For ohitashi marinade broth
200 cc dashi
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 tbsp sake
1 1/2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce


In a small pot or stovetop-resistant container, put all ingredients for ohitashi marinade broth, and bring to boil.

Once boiling, remove from heat.


Sprinkle salt on okra, rub with fingers to smooth surface, and quickly rinse.

Blanch for 1 minute or so.
Drain, and let cool. 

Once cool, thinly slice.


In the meantime, remove top of eggplant, and cut in half lengthwise.
Make cuts in small intervals on the surface (diagonally or straight in a single direction or in a crisscross pattern).

Cut each half into 2 or 3 sections.


While preparing eggplant, start heating oil.

When oil is ready (very fine bubbles vigorously come from the ends of bamboo chopsticks when immersed; around 180 C/355 F), wipe moisture from eggplant surface, and gently put in oil.

After 2-3 minutes, raise heat somewhat high, and when surface starts to lightly brown, remove individual pieces.
First lift with chopsticks, leave one end still immersed to draw excess oil back to the pot, then remove piece while quickly shaking off oil; place on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels.


While eggplant is still warm, put in ohitashi marinade broth.

Add okra to eggplant marinade.
Chill in the fridge until serving.


When ready to serve, grate ginger.
Serve eggplant and okra, pour some marinade, and top with ginger.

  • This is good hot, too. If serving hot, simmer deep-fried eggplant in marinade for 5+ minutes, add fresh okra (no blanching necessary), and cook for another minute. Serve with grated ginger.
  • Ideally, oil should be ready just as you finish cutting eggplant. Eggplant is often soaked in water to prevent discoloration, but when cooking with oil, this is unnecessary.
  • Make sure the oil temperature is high enough. Otherwise, eggplant becomes mushy and greasy. Overcrowding the pot with eggplant easily lowers oil temperature. If eggplant you removed from the pot seems mushy and overly greasy, raise oil temperature, and deep-fry once again.
  • If too much oil absorption is a concern, first draw out eggplant moisture with salt before deep-frying. See nasu to kobashira no XO-jan itame (eggplant and bay scallops in XO sauce) for the technique.
  • Above, I used canola oil and sesame oil in combination. Canola oil by itself works fine, too. Sesame oil only would be too heavy. Olive oil would make the result taste fruity.
  • The marinade is to keep ingredients moist, and is not for drinking. Be careful when serving this to people who are unfamiliar with Japanese food. Quite a few think it is to drink as a soup!

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