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


Nasu to ebi no karashi-gomaae / eggplant and prawns in Japanese mustard sesame dressing

A great combination of eggplant and prawns for a neat little side dish. Karashi mustard adds just enough bite to spice up rich sesame dressing.


1 nasu Japanese eggplant or 1/3-1/2 Chinese eggplant
Small handful prawns (5 spot shrimp in photo)
1 tsp yaki-myoban burnt alum (for brightening eggplant skin color; optional)
1 tbsp sake (for microwaving prawns; not in photo)

For karashi-gomaae mustard sesame dressing
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1 tsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp dashi
1 tsp karashi Japanese mustard powder


Cut eggplant lengthwise in half, and diagonally slice into 5 mm thick.


Bring water to boil, add yaki-myoban and eggplant, and blanch for 1-2 minutes.

Place slices in a single layer on zaru flat strainer, cover with another zaru (or sandwich eggplant slices with makisu bamboo scroll), and put weight on top in order to get rid of excess water.


Meanwhile, shell, clean and devein prawns, and sogigiri slice at a slant into 2-3 sections.


Place prawns in a single layer in a microwaveable container, pour over sake, and microwave for 30 seconds or until prawns turn pink.

While microwaving, flip and move prawn pieces a few times to ensure even cooking.
Let cool.


Prepare dressing.
Mix karashi and dashi well. 
In a medium prep bowl, put sake and mirin, and microwave for 30+ seconds.

While sake and mirin are hot, add tahini, mix well, add soy sauce, and mix again.

Add karashi + dashi mixture, and mix well.


Sandwich eggplant slices with towel, and press to further get rid of excess moisture.

Add eggplant to dressing, and gently mix. 

Add prawns (leave liquid behind), and gently mix.
Ready to serve.

  • Yaki-myoban is a white powder that is most commonly used to brighten eggplant's beautiful purple skin color in Japanese food preparation. Use for brightening the yellow flesh color of satsumaimo sweet potato is also quite common. It is also said to improve the texture of ingredients (making them more crisp). Recommended amount is 1 tsp per 1,000cc water.
  • If using nerigoma sesame paste, add slightly more dashi, as it is thicker than tahini.
  • Microwaving sake + mirin is optional. It is to get rid of alcohol; heating also makes it easier to mix in tahini sauce.
  • Prawns can be quickly blanched in 1 tbsp sake and just enough water to cover them.
  • When mixing karashi and dashi, continue mixing for a while after they are incorporated in order to bring out karashi's pungent flavor and aroma.
  • If using karashi paste, diluting with a small amount of dashi is recommended. Dashi in this recipe adjusts the consistency of dressing. Slightly loose dressing works better here, especially with tender prawns.

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