20 Japanese Eggplant Recipes to Wow Your Peers

20 Japanese Eggplant Recipes

Eggplants are grown and consumed all over the world, so they come in many different varieties. In many places, they are called aubergines or brinjals as well. Most people think that eggplant is a vegetable, but it is, in fact, a fruit.

Eggplants are the main ingredient of countless savory dishes across various international cuisines. The Japanese eggplants are widely favored over other types because of their distinct features. They are typically long and slender, like a zucchini.

Most commercial varieties of eggplants are round with thick dark purple skin; yellowish or off-white varieties are also available. In comparison, Japanese aubergine has thinner glossy skin that has a dark purple to almost blackish tone.

Japanese eggplants have an increasingly delicate and silky flesh that is well-suited for quick cooking, such as stir-frying, sauté, and grilling. They also have fewer seeds and a mild sweet floral taste that sets them apart.

1. Sauteed Japanese Eggplant

If you’re craving something light, nutritious, and plant-based, the Sautéed Japanese Eggplant shall satisfy your palate. It is a quick and simple dish that can be customized with different seasonings.

In this Japanese eggplant recipe, you’ll find several ingredients that are native to Japan, such as miso paste and Kikkoman or Yamasa soy sauce. If you cannot get these ingredients, you may use regular soy sauce and tahini or fish sauce to replace the miso.

The shiitake mushrooms supply a lot more character and earthiness to the dish, whereas the green onions add a crunchy freshness. 

2. Mapo Eggplant (Mapo Nasu)

Mapo Eggplant, also known as Mapo Nasu, is a fusion of Japanese and Chinese cuisine.  This dish combines the flavors of Chinese Mapo tofu with Japanese eggplant, and the end product is a masterpiece.  

This Japanese Eggplant recipe packs in a lot more spice than the original Chinese variant, which mainly owes to the addition of ‘doubanjiang’- a fiery chili bean paste.  

This dish brings together the best of two worlds and thereby fuses the culinary traditions of two diverse cuisines. It is best served with steamed rice and a glass of sake. 

3. Japanese Eggplant Agebitashi

The Japanese Eggplant Agebitashi is an ancient dish that was prepared for tea ceremonies and special occasions during the Edo period. Today, it is typically served as an appetizer or side dish in restaurants.

The term “Agebitashi” translates to food being deep-fried and then soaked or marinated. For this recipe, we first deep fry the strips of Japanese eggplant and then immerse them in a flavorful sauce, which adheres to the concept.

Dashi is an important element of this Japanese eggplant recipe. It is a type of broth or soup base made of dried bonito flakes and kelp seaweed. 

4. Japanese Eggplant, Shitake Mushroom & Bok Choy Stir Fry

If you like complex and sophisticated foods, the Japanese Eggplant, Shitake Mushroom & Bok Choy Stir Fry should intrigue you. It is an adventurous dish featuring soft creamy eggplant contrasting against meaty shiitake mushrooms and crunchy bok choy stems.

This Japanese eggplant recipe is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s not just rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals but also low in calories. You can always add more kinds of protein and vegetables to further enhance the taste and nutritional value.

The dish is best served hot alongside steamed rice and noodles. However, it is also perfect on its own as a standalone dish. 

5. Soy-Glazed Eggplant Donburi

There’s something about rice bowl dishes that make me feel at home. If you feel the same way, I’m sure this one will warm your heart.

Soy-Glazed Eggplant Donburi is a wonderful lunch or dinner option for vegans and vegetarians. The caramelized Japanese Eggplant glazed in a sweet and savory sauce is so delicious and comforting.

Many people say that a dish lacking animal protein cannot be any good. This Japanese eggplant recipe proves that plant-based dishes can be nutritious and flavorsome too. 

6. Sweet & Sour Eggplants

Asians sure know how to balance sweet and sour in their savory dishes. This Japanese eggplant recipe right here is inspired by Chinese food.

The red bell peppers and freshly chopped green onion make this dish extra vibrant and appetizing. The eggplants absorb the sweet and sour sauce like a sponge, which infuses them with the strong flavors of surrounding ingredients.

This dish contains cornstarch, which is added to give the sauce a viscous gravy-like consistency. The dish is normally served with plain rice or pasta, but I prefer it with fluffy egg-fried rice. 

7. Easy Eggplant Stir-Fry

If you need good reasons to make the Easy Eggplant Stir-Fry, the first one is in the name of the recipe (it’s easy!). Secondly, it tastes decent. Still not convinced? It’s also budget-friendly!

This Japanese eggplant recipe is your go-to snack when you’re in the mood to kill two birds with one stone – cut down on food costs and eat healthier. This recipe encourages creativity, i.e., you can modify or improve it with your personalized assortment of herbs and spices; you could also pair it with a special sauce of yours.

This dish is bound to be a hit with all the vegans in your social circle, and it’s light enough to enjoy for a late-night dinner. 

8. Japanese Eggplant With Chicken & Thai Basil

The Japanese eggplant has what it takes to be the unspoken star of a dish. It usually doesn’t need a protein counterpart to make the dish shine.

However, when you cook aubergine with meat, you experience a whole new realm of blended flavors. Japanese Eggplant with Chicken & Thai Basil is the perfect example to demonstrate that the addition of meat does not overpower the presence of the fruit.

If you want to make a vegan version of this dish, you can skip the chicken or replace it with mushrooms or tofu. 

9. Garlic Roasted Japanese Eggplant

I’ve tried and recreated innumerable recipes to date. Recipes that include a wide range of ingredients and a bunch of complex techniques are indeed amazing, yet, some of the simplest recipes take the crown.

Garlic Roasted Japanese Eggplant is a minimalistic dish that requires no more than 5fiveingredients, and the preparation is exceedingly straightforward as well. However, this one can easily beat the more intricate recipes on any list.

The eggplant baked with sea salt, garlic, and a hint of citrusy lemon is truly exquisite. This Japanese Eggplant recipe makes for a delectable snack any time of the day. 

10. Japanese Eggplant Tempura

If your child makes a face every time you’ve made eggplant for lunch or dinner, this dish could change their mind. Kids love fried food like nuggets and potato wedges, so this one should be no exception.

The tempura batter gives the eggplant a light and crispy crust, creating a satisfying contrast to its tender flesh. This Japanese Eggplant Tempura can be prepared in a matter of minutes; the thin slices of the eggplant cook fast.

The eggplant tempura is a healthier alternative to deep-fried junk food, as it has good nutritional value and minimum grease. 

11. Oyaki (Japanese Stuffed Dumplings with Eggplant)

My family is obsessed with dumplings, so I’m always looking for new and unique fillings to surprise them. Oyaki is a traditional Japanese dumpling made from wheat flour; they contain sweet or savory fillings and are cooked in the ash of an open-fire hearth.  

At home, you can steam them, pan-fry, or go for the deep-fry method. Japanese mostly like their dumplings filled with vegetables, beans, fruits, pickles, and mushrooms.  

Japanese Stuffed Dumplings with Eggplant is an exclusive treat that highlights the use of simple and wholesome ingredients to create something extraordinary. 

12. Eggplant “Unagi”

It’s fascinating how different vegetables, fruits, lentils, grains, and nuts can be used to replicate the flavors and texture of meat-based recipes. It obviously takes a lot of thought and creativity to design these dishes, so let’s take a minute to appreciate all those cooking geniuses.

‘Unagi’ is the name given to Japanese grilled eel, so Eggplant Unagi is a vegan spin on that traditional recipe. If you think about it, when eggplant is cooked, it does take on an eel-like smoothness and appearance.

This eggplant Unagi is commonly served on a bed of rice, and it is also a popular topping for sushi rolls.

13. Japanese Eggplant Miso Noodle Soup

I don’t know about you, but noodle soup has been my savior since the beginning of time. I still remember the joy of learning to make instant soupy noodles for the first time when I was about 6 years old.

Noodle soup is such a filling and comforting food; no wonder it is the staple of many college students today. It has helped me survive so many tough times, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

The Japanese eggplant recipe is one way to make your noodle soup more exciting and fancy. Follow this recipe to turn your humble meal into a restaurant-quality delicacy. 

14. Stir Fry Miso Eggplant

Stir-Fried Miso Eggplant, commonly known as “Nasu Miso Itame,” is a treasured dish of Japanese cuisine. Miso is a fermented soybean paste added to this dish; it is rich in MSG, which adds depth and complexity to the flavors of the stir-fried eggplant.

Eggplant is the customary choice for this recipe, but I have also tried it with other vegetables. Zucchini and bell peppers are good substitutes if you wish to change it up and experiment.

This Japanese eggplant recipe represents the comfort and ambiance of Japan’s home-style cooking. This dish is fundamentally vegetarian, though it can be made vegan through slight modifications. 

15. Marinated Teriyaki Eggplant

Marinated Teriyaki Eggplant is a tasteful product of Japanese-American Fusion. Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique where meat, fish, or vegetables are cured in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar before being grilled or broiled.

Even though grilling and broiling are the traditional methods used for cooking marinated eggplant, you can bake or pan-fry it as well. It all comes down to available kitchen equipment and personal preference, after all.  

The eggplant readily absorbs the composite flavors of the teriyaki sauce; the longer the marination period, the more pronounced the flavors.

16. Low Carb Broiled Japanese Eggplant

If you’re looking for out-of-the-box low-carb snacks, this Japanese Eggplant recipe is right for you. This dish requires minimal ingredients and preparation steps, so you can whip it up in no time.

The broiled Japanese Eggplant is like a blank canvas for various flavor combinations. It pairs well with a wide range of seasonings, herbs, spices, and sauces, so don’t hesitate to unleash your creativity.

Low Carb Broiled Japanese Eggplant can be enjoyed as an individual dish but also works well as a salad topping. I sometimes put it in burgers or sandwiches, too, as it adds juiciness and a nice smoky flavor.  

17. Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti

Anything that says ‘parmesan’ and ‘spaghetti’ always gets my undivided attention. Cheese and pasta are among the finest food creations of all time, and this Japanese eggplant recipe features both of them.

This Italian-inspired dish is a winner for date nights because it’s unpretentious and provides delicious comfort. The components of this dish can be prepared ahead of time for added convenience.

You may pan-fry the eggplant slices and make the tomato sauce at your earliest. You can then bake the eggplants a few minutes before you’re ready to serve and assemble the plate in a jiffy.

18. Grilled Japanese Eggplant With Scallions And Ginger

Grilled Japanese eggplant is awesome, but the addition of scallions and ginger gives a burst of aromatic flavors that are irresistible. They also bestow the dish with freshness and crunch, which provides an unforgettable dining experience.

This Japanese Eggplant recipe comes with a dressing that combines several sour and tangy elements. I prefer a little sweetness, so I add a bit of brown sugar to the mix.

I highly recommend this dish for pregnant women, as ginger provides nausea relief and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, scallions freshen your breath, regulate blood sugar levels, and prevent digestive issues. 

19. Grilled Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant

If you haven’t guessed already, the combination of miso and eggplant is a Japanese classic. Miso-Glazed Eggplant is a dish that dates back centuries, and in Japan, it is known as ‘Nasu Dengaku.’

This Japanese Eggplant recipe presents a wonderful balance of sweet and savory flavors. It is a highly nutritious treat that incorporates the culinary heritage and traditions of Japan.

Eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, whereas miso is rich in good bacteria, enzymes, and probiotics that support gut health and digestion.

20. Grilled Japanese Eggplant With Tahini Sauce

I have a friend who loves tahini more than anything in this world. She is literally always looking for excuses to put tahini on everything she eats; hence, I dedicate this Japanese eggplant recipe to her.

The grilled eggplant with a drizzle of creamy tahini sauce creates an alluring presentation. Tahini sauce originates from Middle Eastern cuisine and complements the Japanese eggplant flawlessly.

You may personalize this dish by garnishing it with herbs and or spices of your choice. Consider adding some fresh thyme and mint leaves with a squeeze of lemon juice to take this dish to the next level.

japanese eggplant halwa

Japanese Eggplant Halwa

Let’s end this post with a bang – a Japanese Eggplant dessert! The use of eggplants in savory dishes is common, but have you even had it as a dessert? We make numerous sweet dishes with fruits, so why not with an eggplant?
Eggplant Halwa is a warm dessert from South Asia, and I assure you that it is worth your while. You are probably skeptical about this, but I insist you give it a chance. This dessert recipe will prove to be a pleasant surprise!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 225 kcal


  • 2 Japanese eggplants
  • 1 cup Coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup clarified butter
  • ¼ cup crushed nuts (almonds, cashews, & pistachios)
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • Pinch of saffron strands (optional)
  • Edible silver or gold foil for garnish (optional)


  • Wash the eggplants, cut off the stems, peel the skin and chop them into small pieces.
  • Add the clarified butter to a pan, and place over medium heat.
  • Once the butter melts, add the chopped eggplants and sauté them until they turn soft and mushy. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk to the pan and cook the mixture on low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the milk is reduced by about one-third and the mixture has thickened, add the sugar and mix well.
  • Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture attains a halwa-like consistency.
  • Add the cardamom powder and saffron strands. Mix well to incorporate the flavors.
  • In a separate small pan, heat a teaspoon of butter and roast the chopped nuts until they are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Add the roasted nuts to the eggplant halwa and mix gently.
  • Serve the Japanese Eggplant Halwa warm or at room temperature. Garnish with edible silver or gold foil if desired.


Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g
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