One of my favorite eggplant recipes is a Japanese dish called Nasu no Agebitashi (???????).Nasu in Japanese means eggplant, and agebitashi means deep-fried and soaked. The dish is composed of deep-fried eggplant soaked in light dashi and soy sauce based broth. The eggplants absorb all the delicious flavors of the broth and this dish is simply delicious. If you’re a fan of eggplant, I know you’re going to love this dish!
While growing up in Japan, my mother made a lot of eggplant dishes and it always made me wondered what was so good about eggplant. Personally I prefer crunchy and crispy foods, and mushy, soft eggplant was not one of my favorite vegetables.After I came to the U.S. and tried more varieties of eggplant dishes, I started to love eggplant. One of the eggplant recipes I was crazy about was grilled eggplant sandwich with roasted bell pepper.Then I started to make Japanese eggplant dishes which I didn’t care much for before. Today’s recipe, eggplant agebitashi has become one of my favorite go-to eggplant menus. It’s a simple dish, yet you’ll be surprised how delicious eggplant can be after it absorbed all the flavors in the dashi broth.
Helpful Cooking Techniques for Eggplant Agebitashi This dish requires some Japanese cooking techniques that you might not be familiar with. So let’s go over them first.1. Suage (???)Deep frying vegetables without coating any flour or batter is called Suage in Japanese. Su means natural or uncoated in this case, and age (pronounce a-geh) means deep frying. You might wonder what’s the idea behind deep frying eggplants.Suage removes bitterness of ingredients (such as in eggplant) and coating with oil prevents de-coloration of the eggplant. By cooking with oil, eggplant maintains its beautiful color. The eggplant will absorb oil first, but then will release it after cooking.Brief deep frying in hot oil makes the ingredients crispy on the outside, and the remaining he...