For lunch today I couldn’t find any vegetables which weren’t earmarked for a meal later in the week, aside from a single Japanese aubergine. I decided to pan-fry it and then marinade it; I only let it sit one hour but it would certainly benefit from sitting longer if you have the patience.
I originally thought of making age bitashi but didn’t have any dashi. It’s a different flavour but the idea of frying and then marinading was taken from this dish.
- 1 Japanese aubergine
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 Tablespoons grain vinegar (if you use mirin, you could leave out the agave)
- 3 Tablespoons agave syrup
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Cut the aubergine into quarters. Place in a bowl with salted water for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger and place it in another bowl. Add the vinegar, agave, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil to the garlic-ginger paste to make the marinade. Put the marinade in the bottom of a flat container which is large enough for all the aubergine pieces to lie in a single layer.
Drain and rinse the aubergine and pat it dry. Heat a frying pan and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the aubergine to the pan, placing it skin side down. Turn down the heat to medium. Cook the aubergine until both sides are lightly browned and it feels soft to the touch (about 8 minutes). Remove the aubergine and place it cut side down in the marinade.
Allow the aubergine to soak in the marinade for at least an hour but ideally longer. If it will be sitting longer, put it in the fridge to marinate. It should be served at room temperature.