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What is Japanese Eggplant?
If you have never tried Japanese eggplant before you are in for a treat!
Japanese eggplant is called “nasu” in Japan. This eggplant is quite different from our American eggplant. The nasu is slender, smaller, and not as bitter as our American eggplant.
The skin of this eggplant is thin, and the flavor is sweet. Additionally it also has way fewer seeds than our American version and is a member of the Nightshade family, which also includes potatoes and tomatoes.
This versatile eggplant is great roasted, broiled, steamed, stir fried, and grilled! It pairs especially well with miso in a stir fry so please read on to learn how to make Spicy and Delicious Stir Fried Japanese Eggplant With Miso!
What Ingredients Will I Need To Make This Dish?
Here are some brilliantly colored Japanese eggplants which I purchased from my local Asian market. The color is stunning don’t you think? 😍
It goes without saying that you will need to have some Japanese eggplant for this dish. The other ingredients are:
- Red miso (you can sub white miso if you prefer; red miso is a bit saltier than white miso)
- Sake (can sub Shaoxing rice wine if you don’t have sake)
- Thai chilies (I like these for extra spice! Please feel free to omit or reduce the number of chilies called for if you prefer milder foods)
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame oil
- Green onions (for garnish)
The Method To Make Stir Fried Nasu With Miso!
It’s really simple to make this dish!
You’ll begin by slicing the eggplant into bite sized pieces. I like to kind of roughly chop them at an angle as seen below.
Next soak them in some water for around 10 minutes to help remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant. Drain and dry after soaking.
Make a paste with 2 tbsp of miso and 1 tbsp of sake. Stir well and set aside.
After draining and drying the nasu, heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet (cast iron preferably) or wok on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and chilis. Stir frequently for around 1 minute or so. Add sliced Japanese eggplant, and continue to cook until your eggplant is tender and nicely browned. You will want to stir a bit, but also leave the eggplant undisturbed from time to time to allow it to brown. It took me about 20 minutes to get the eggplant tender with a nice color.
When your eggplant is ready, add the miso and sake paste, and stir until incorporated. The finishing touches are a few splashes of sesame oil, and a pinch of sugar or more to taste!
Now you are ready to enjoy this delicious stir fried Japanese eggplant! Sliced green onions make the perfect garnish. 😃
This makes a great vegetable side dish to accompany any meal, especially when eaten with your favorite pair of chopsticks!
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Stir Fried Japanese Eggplant With Miso
- Skillet (Cast iron skillet or wok is preferred)
- 2 large Japanese eggplant about 1 pound; roughly chopped at angles into bite sized pieces
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp red miso paste
- 1 tbsp sake can sub Shaoxing Rice Wine
- 2 ts garlic minced
- 3-4 Thai chilis adjust to your taste or omit completely for a milder dish – please note using 3 or 4 of these does make this dish spicy!
- sugar pinch of or to taste
- sesame oil a few drops splashed on at the end
- green onions sliced, for garnish
- Slice the Japanese eggplant at an angle and kind of roughly into bite sized pieces.
- Soak the eggplant in water for about 10 minutes. Then drain and dry with paper towels.
- Make a paste with 2 tbsp of miso and 1 tbsp of sake (or Shaoxing Rice Wine). Stir well and set aside for later use.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a skillet on medium. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and chilis. Stir frequently for around 1 min.
- Add sliced Japanese eggplant, and cook until tender. You will want to stir a bit but also leave the eggplant undisturbed from time to time to allow some browning. It took me about 20 minutes to get mine tender and browned to my liking…please adjust the time to suit your stove. You may also add a little extra oil if the eggplant starts to stick or you think it's getting too dry. When the eggplant is tender and browned, then add the miso and sake paste, and stir until incorporated. Last step is to add a few splashes of sesame oil and a pinch of sugar (or sugar to taste).
- Garnish with green onions and enjoy!