Ginger Eggplant © 2012 kit

Recipe: Ginger Eggplant

I have seen various references to ginger eggplant recipes but have been experimenting with my own version. As a lover of eggplant I’ve always savoured the opportunity in adding it to meals I prepare. In lunch situations I like to keep watery items to a bare minimum so that was one of the main reasons my version has diverted from tradition. Instead, it seems like the my method more closely resembles adobo: the frying step and the soy sauce component.

Various times in frying eggplant has made me a little wary of the amount of oil it can soak up – it laps up oil like a sponge! As impatient as I am to forgo a pre-salting stage I was keen on other methods and recycled the idea from another filipino dish – pre-roasting. Unlike par-boiling, it does not introduce more water and gives the eggplant a more smokey flavour. In addition with precooking it the eggplant becomes less ready to soak oil up but is still able to take in water-based flavours. The resulting ginger eggplant is cleaner and refreshing; less oily than leftover BBQ-treated eggplant at times.

I use the small, ‘sausage’ shaped varieties as this ensures that the sizing can be controlled.

Ginger Eggplant

Ginger Eggplant

Serving Size: 2-4 side-dish portions


  • 3 20cm small eggplants
  • Grated ginger to taste
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • 2-3 TB sake
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (optional)
  • Small amount of sesame oil for frying


  1. First roast the eggplants: peel back the sepals of the washed and dried eggplant then place as-is in a 180 degree (Celcius) oven for 10-12 minutes
  2. Let the eggplant cool in the oven to steam, then peel the skin and trim off stem when they are at least cold enough to handle. Cut into bite-sized pieces
  3. Heat oil in frypan. Toss in onion if using and cook on medium-high until pearly and translucent
  4. Add eggplant to the pan to heat up then add ginger. When ginger is fragrant, add sake and soy sauce and turn the heat to high
  5. When the liquid has almost been soaked up/evaporated turn heat to medium/medium-high. Taste and adjust with more ginger/sake/soy sauce. Don't add too much liquid as this isn't supposed to be a 'soupy' dish!
  6. Cook until liquid is, or almost completely evaporated


Be wary of how much soy sauce is added - it can make the dish too salty.

A refreshing variant can be achieved with a little lime juice and rind. Just adding a touch of juice and finely diced rind stirred in right at the end will do - it complements the ginger rather well.

More commonly, you can add a spicy kick with chilli powder at the stage when you add soy sauce.

To make this a vegetarian's lament, fry up a small amount of mince of your choosing at the beginning of the 'stir-fry' stage in the same pan. This variation is particularly good to convert it from a side dish to a main dish (with rice of course!)

This dish suits mild flavours like plain white rice.

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