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Simmered Eggplant and Japanese Leeks

Simmered Eggplant and Japanese Leeks

If you add Japanese leek to your usual simmered eggplant, it becomes amazingly delicious! The meltingly soft eggplant with the umami of the leek is an irresistible flavor. I've skipped the bothersome deep-frying and just pan-fried the eggplants instead.

Ingredients: 4 servings

Eggplant (slim Japanese type)
5 small or 3 long
Japanese leek
1 stalk for stir frying plus 5 cm of the white part for garnish
Red chili pepper
1
Vegetable oil
50 ml
Dashi stock (if using dashi stock granules, use 1/2 teaspoon plus water)
180 ml
Sake
50 ml
Sugar
2 tablespoons
Soy sauce
3 tablespoons

Steps

1. Slice the eggplants about 2-3 cm thick. It's best to slice them thickly, since they tend to fall apart while simmering.
2. Slice the leek about 1 cm thick. Shred a 5 cm piece of the white part of the leek finely to use as garnish.
3. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant. Stir fry thoroughly, letting the eggplant absorb the oil in the pan.
4. When the eggplant slices are completely saturated with oil and starting to brown, add the leek and stir fry quickly. If there's any oil left in the pan, wipe with paper towels for a better finish.
5. Put sake and dashi stock in the pan, and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, soy sauce, and sliced red chili pepper. Simmer over low-medium heat for about 8 minutes and it's done. Let it cool down a bit and taste. Season with a little mentsuyu if needed.

Story Behind this Recipe

I modified a recipe I saw about 10 years ago in a magazine from an izakaya (Japanese gastropub).