This is a dish that my mom makes but for some reason I never got her recipe and instead just guessed and came up with my own. Eggplant is in season right now so this is what I will be making with the eggplants from the garden. If you have ever had Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce, this dish is similar, but has a much lighter and more ginger-y sauce. I really loved both eggplant dishes as a kid and consider these dishes to be real comfort food.
1 tbsp canola oil, divided into 3 tsp
2 medium Japanese eggplants, cut into pieces 2 inches long
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dashi (I mix hon dashi and hot water in a hurry)
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 scallion, chopped
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Place eggplant pieces in a single layer and brown each side. You will probably have to cook your eggplant in two batches. Make sure to add in another teaspoon of oil before cooking the second batch. Set the browned eggplant aside in a bowl. In the same pan, heat the last teaspoon of oil. Toss in the garlic and ginger and cook until just fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Pour in the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and vinegar. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then return the eggplants to the pan with the liquid. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve with steamed rice, garnished with chopped scallions.