Remove the stem ends of the eggplants, and cut into 3 cm thick round slices. Soak in water for a while to remove the bitterness. ●They seem big, but they will shrink after deep-frying, so please cut into large round slices.
Add the dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar into a pot, then turn on the heat. When it starts to boil, wait for 1 minute, and turn off the heat.
Drain the Step 1 eggplants in a sieve, and completely wipe off the excess water with paper towels. Deep-fry in vegetable oil at high temperature. When they become golden brown, remove from the oil. Place them in the sieve, and pour on boiling water to drain off the excess oil.
Add the Step 3 eggplants into the Step 2 pot, and turn on the heat. Bring to a boil, and turn off the heat. Add the bonito flakes, and let the marinade cool down to make them absorb the flavour. Serve with grated daikon radish and ginger when you are ready to serve. Garnish with shiso leaves and green onions if you have them.
Story Behind this Recipe
The eggplants at a local delicatessen looked very delicious, so I tried cooking my own eggplant dish.
The eggplant will take some time to absorb the flavors of the seasoning. Please let the marinade cool completely and enjoy. It tastes good when it's chilled in the fridge in summer. You can either make crisscross pattern cuts on the surface of the eggplants or not.