Project Description

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 30 mins

Difficulty: Medium

Serves: 2

Soy Glazed Eggplant Rice | Japanese Recipe | 茄子の甘辛丼

This soy glazed eggplant recipe is delicious and easy to make! One of my favourite recipes to do with Japanese eggplant – I was looking for a vegetable dish to pair with an Unagi Kabayaki which we bought earlier and this Japanese eggplant recipe came to mind. So I decided to do an unagi and soy glazed Japanese eggplant don.

Soy Glazed Eggplant Rice

The flavour profile of the sauces for both the unagi and this soy glazed eggplant are nearly similar, with both having a side of savoury and sweetness to it. As the eggplant is a very mild and delicate vegetable, it takes on any flavour you put into it, so even having it on its own, without the unagi is already really good. This dish is super easy and if you use a smaller eggplant or have a bigger pan to use, this is literally a one pan dinner recipe.

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Full Recipe: Soy Glazed Eggplant Rice


  • 1 whole Japanese eggplant

  • Salt for seasoning

  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil

  • Half of a red onion, sliced thinly (Optional)

  • Spring onions (for Garnishing)


  • 1 knob (about 1 inch) of grated ginger

  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 4 tablespoon yellow rice wine

  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

  • 4 tablespoons of water


  • Slice the eggplants lengthwise; but you can cut it into any shape you want, this depends on the size of your pan. If possible, try not to crowd your pan too much, like I did

  • Sprinkle salt on the sliced eggplant and set aside for at least 15 minutes. This action draws out the extra moisture and reduce the “air pockets” inside the spongy texture of the eggplant – this prevents the eggplant from absorbing too much of grease from the oil

  • Pat dry the excess moisture of the eggplant before coating with cornstarch

  • Place eggplants onto the pan and give it a nice sear, cook until both sides are golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side

  • Once all the eggplants are nicely seared, let’s work on the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and fry the onions a little first, then add in the light soy sauce, yellow rice wine, grated ginger and sugar into the pan. Mix well and let it simmer for a few minutes

  • Start adding the seared eggplant slices back into the pan

  • As the eggplants simmer in the sauce, you want to also spoon the sauce over the eggplants frequently; continue doing so until you are happy with the sauce’s consistency and that all the eggplants are nicely coated with the sauce

  • Get a good amount of the sauce onto your rice and serve the eggplants on it

  • You can serve it just like that with some spring onions as garnish or you can pair this with a nice slice of Unagi Kabayaki and turn this into an unagi don instead!

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