Eggplant Marinated in Sweet and Sour Nanban Sauce

Eggplant is known as a vegetable that cools down the body. Soak the eggplant in refreshing sweet and sour nanban sauce. It will be great to fight the summer heat.

Eggplant Marinated in Sweet and Sour Nanban Sauce
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Yoshihisa Akiyama






Calorie count is per serving
Does not include marinating time

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 eggplants
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 naga-negi long onion
  • 1/6 onion
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • [Sweet and sour nanban marinade]

    • 8 tbsp dashi
    • 2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp mirin
    • 2 tbsp vinegar (preferably rice vinegar)
  • 1 dried red chili (remove stem and seeds)



Remove the stem and rotate the eggplant while slicing diagonally. Cut into bite-size rangiri pieces. Soak in lightly salted water for 1-2 minutes to remove the bitterness. Pat dry with a paper towel. Make 2-3 vertical incisions in the negi and cut into 3 cm lengths. Cut the onion along the grain into thin slices.


Soaking: As the cut surfaces of the eggplant are prone to oxidation, it's important to soak the eggplant in lightly salted water to prevent discoloration, and to remove the bitterness.


Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the eggplant, occasionally turning each piece over with cooking chopsticks. When the cut surfaces are golden brown, add the negi and brown it.


It's easier to sauté rather than deep-fry the eggplant and negi in a generous amount of oil.


Pour all the nanban sauce ingredients except for vinegar into a pot and place over medium heat. Turn off the heat just before the liquid comes to a boil. Add the vinegar and transfer to a bowl. Briefly grill the red chili over direct heat and add to the bowl along with the fried eggplant and negi, together with the onion slices. Marinate for 2-3 hours. Remove the chili and cut into 2-3 mm slices. Plate up the eggplant and onions, and garnish with chili. Sprinkle with chili slices.


Marinating the eggplant and onions while hot allows the flavor to seep in. Adjust the marinating time to taste.