Bonito flakes, grated ginger, ground sesame seeds etc.
Cut the stem ends off. They look better if you leave the calyxes on, but I take 'em off! The prickly parts can hurt you, and it's easier to eat the eggplants with the tops off.
Score the surface of the eggplants lengthwise 4 to 5 times.
Grill the eggplants until they are charred and pitch black on the surface. (This is important!) They are done if they are completely limp when you press on them with chopsticks!
I grilled them in our toaster oven on medium heat for 22 minutes. If your grill only cooked one side at a time, turn the eggplants over halfway through.
Peel the skin slowly starting from the stem end (the top). When you pinch up the skin to start peeling, be sure not to pinch up any of the flesh underneath! This is very important!!
Even if the skin breaks as you peel it because you're peeling it so thinly, be sure to only pinch up the skin, not the eggplant flesh! Here's a photo of 3 completely peeled eggplants.
Arrange on serving plates, top with bonito flakes, soy sauce and so on, and enjoy.
Story Behind this Recipe
After trying several methods, this was the easiest way to peel the eggplants.
How to cleanly peel eggplants: 1. Score the surface. 2. Grill them well until they are completely soft and limp. 3. Peel the skin off starting from the top (the stem end) and go slowly. 4. Only pinch the skin!
Don't submerge the grilled eggplants in cold water.