Japanese eggplant, botanically classified as Solanum melongena, belongs to the Solanaceae or Nightshade family, the purple variety. The name Japanese eggplant is used as a general description of different varieties of eggplant grown in Japan.
The eggplant is elongated and slender, with an average length of 20 to 25 cm, and a rectangular to a cylindrical shape, slightly wrinkled at the edges. The Eggplants can appear curved or straight and are bound with a green or dark purple stem depending on the variety. These Japanese eggplants come in a variety of shapes, from oblong and slender to oval.
The skin is thin, smooth, shiny and delicate, easily damaged and its color ranges from light purple to dark purple, almost black. The creamy flesh is green in color and almost seedless with a dense, firm and spongy texture.
The Eggplant must be cooked before eating and create a soft, tender and creamy consistency, easily absorbing sauces, spices and aromas.
Japanese eggplant also has a sweet and mild taste. Eggplants are also seen as a cool culinary ingredient and are paired with a warm, spicy flavor to keep the body in balance. These eggplants are available all year round, with a peak season from summer to autumn.
Nutritional value of Japanese eggplant
Japanese eggplants are a good source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation and fiber to regulate the digestive system.
Eggplant also provides potassium, folate for red blood cell growth, manganese and other B vitamins, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and vitamins to maintain connective fluid levels in the body.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, Japanese eggplant contains nasunin, an anthocyanin found in purple skin that contributes to antioxidant-like properties to protect cells against free radical damage.
Serving Size: 100 grams
Cal : 29
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 2 g
Fat: 0 g
Saturated: 0 g
Polyunsaturated: 0 g
Monounsaturated: 0 g
Trans: 0 g
Protein: 1 g
Sodium: 2 mg
Potassium: 230 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Vitamin A: 1 %
Vitamin C: 4 %
Calcium: 1 %
Iron: 1 %
How to cook Japanese Eggplant
Japanese eggplant has a mild sweet taste that is suitable for cooking applications such as sauting, pan-frying, deep-frying, grilling and baking.
Eggplant has a thin skin that is left in the cooking process, and the flesh has a porous nature, which easily absorbs the accompanying flavors. Japanese eggplant also retains its purple-tinted skin, adding vibrant color to fried or roasted side dishes.
Eggplants are popularly grilled to develop a smoky flavor, or grilled pieces are thrown into salads for depth of flavor. In addition to grilling, Japanese eggplant can be fried as a side dish with spices, mixed into food as a meat substitute, dipped or added to vegetables.
Eggplants can be cut in half or sliced, braced into delicious-sweet, rich sauces, or pickles can be made for long use and eaten as a tangy snack. Japanese eggplant is traditionally grilled. Eggplants are also deep-fried and served in soy sauce.
Japanese eggplant recipes
Grilled Japanese eggplant recipes
4 Japanese eggplant, half in length
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dried sherry
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves Garlic finely minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Place the eggplant in a large shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil and garlic. Pour the marinade over the eggplant and let it marinate for 1 hour at room temperature. Preheat grill. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper to taste and grill on each side for 3 minutes, occasionally tossing with the remaining marinade. Serve with toasted sesame seeds on top.
Japanese eggplant recipes miso
2 small eggplants
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral oil
1/4 cup miso paste
2 tablespoons marin
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sake
Cut the eggplant in half and cut the inside into small squares using a knife.
Put oil in a pan over high heat and place the eggplant skin on the bottom.
Cook for a few minutes until the skin is brown. Turn the eggplant over and cover with a lid. Cook until eggplant is cooked (about 3 to 4 minutes).
Meanwhile, mix miso, Marin, sugar and sake in a bowl.
Cover a cooking tray with foil and place the eggplant on top. Brush the Miso Dengaku mixture on top of each eggplant until all the surface is coated.
Put in the oven and fry for 4 minutes. The miso mix should bubble when removed from the oven.