Grilled Asian Eggplant with Soy-Ginger Glaze

Featured on Amuse Bouche the blog for the magazine Where Women Cook.

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It was gorgeous today. Our morning was really cold, but once the sun burned away the last pockets of fog, the sky remained a beautiful azure for the entire day. It was a perfect day to barbecue, so I fired up the grill and made our first "brick" chicken of the year. I had Asian eggplants in the refrigerator and thought that grilled, they make a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. They happened to be the long, slender dark purple Japanese variety. Japanese and the lavender Chinese eggplant have thinner skins, fewer seeds and a milder taste than the globe eggplant that is used in Italian cooking. The chicken was mildly spiced, so I decided to pair it with a full-flavored Asian-style grilled eggplant. This is very easy to do. All that's required is to halve them lengthwise and baste them with a teriyaki sauce as they cook. The insides become creamy as the outer surfaces caramelize. My only caution, should you decide to make them, is to watch the heat of the grill. If it is too hot the eggplants will burn before they cook through. If you are looking for something different to serve with plain grilled meat or poultry, you might want to give these a try. They are not the prettiest girl on the block, so when we have guests I roll the slices rather than serve them flat on a plate. Here's the recipe.

Grilled Asian Eggplant with Soy-Ginger Glaze
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Willams Sonoma, Savoring America

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon peeled, finely minced ginger
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 pound Asian eggplants
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 scallions, white and tender green, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise


1) To make the sauce: Combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 1 minute. Let cool. Stir in sesame oil.
2) Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.
3) Cut eggplants lengthwise into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Brush one side of each slice with the soy mixture. Grease the surface of the grill. Place slices, glaze side down on grill. Cook, turning frequently and basting often with sauce until slices are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer slices to a serving platter. Roll into a cylinder if desired. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

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