Soy Glazed Eggplant
7 oz. Japanese/Chinese eggplant (2 Japanese eggplants; if you use globe eggplant, cut into the wedges or rounds with skin on. Skin will keep the eggplant shape while cooking.)
10 shiso leaves (or use 1 green onion)
1 knob ginger
2 tbsp. potato starch/cornstarch
4 tbsp. neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc) (separated; use 2 tbsp. at a time)
½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
4 tbsp. mirin (Not exactly same, but substitute with 4 tsp sugar + 4 tbsp. sake/water; Please adjust the sweetness based on your preference; read more about mirin)
2 tbsp. soy sauce (or use GF soy sauce for gluten-free)
Gather all the ingredients.
Slice eggplant into ¼ inch slices and sprinkle salt (roughly ½-1 tsp). Set aside for 15 minutes and wipe off the moisture with a paper towel.
Rinse the shiso leaves and dry with a paper towel. Discard the stems.
Roll up the shiso leaves and cut into chiffonade strips.
Peel the ginger skin and grate the ginger. You’ll need 1 tsp ginger.
Put 2 tbsp. potato starch in a small tray and thinly coat the eggplant slices on both sides.
Heat the 2 tbsp. oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant slices in a single layer. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Until then, do not touch the eggplants to achieve a nice sear.
When the bottom side is nicely seared, drizzle the rest of oil (2 tbsp.) on top and flip the eggplant slices to cook the other side, about 3-4 minutes.
Once this side is cooked till golden brown, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and add mirin, soy sauce, and grated ginger.
Bring it back to simmer and spoon the sauce over the eggplant a few times. If the sauce got thicken too fast (due to the potato starch), add 1 tbsp. water at a time to loosen a bit. Remove from the heat when the eggplant is well-coated with the sauce.
Serve steamed rice in a donburi bowl (a bit bigger than rice bowl) and drizzle some sauce.
Then place the eggplant slices on top. For presentation, I overlap each slice slightly. Garnish with shiso leaves and sprinkle sesame seeds. Serve immediately.