Veganite Tendencies – Grilled Eggplant “Unagi”

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“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” – Virginia Wolf

Believe it or not, my diet was once bordering on becoming vegan.  The move was a natural progression from being anti fast food at 16, to almost vegan at 20. One thing that made it non-vegan/non-vegetarian was eggs and fish, of which are two things I find very hard to not have at least once a week.

In my last year of university though, and the past year, I had re-awakened the carnivore in me, and went on this mission to eat everything yummy in Singapore.

Surely life is too short to not have good food, but reflecting on the feasts that I had put my body through, its high time to start feeding my body with what is good (again).

So if you’ve never been a vegetarian, of if you’re convinced that vegetables cannot taste any greater than green and becoming vegetarian will be the hardest thing to do – Well some people are meat eaters, some people are herbivores, but being vegetarian doesn’t just mean salad greens and celery sticks. Vegetarian can be yummy too. (Note: Author does not like Chinese vegetarian – all that mock meat stuff is…. you’re better off eating meat)

Eggplant Unagi

So one evening, I was watching a Japanese variety program, Kenmin (wherein featured are the secret foods unique to each prefecture in Japan), I was very inspired by a particular recipe – Eggplant Unagi.

What is it?

Essentially, it is sliced eggplant grilled with unagi sauce, or Kabayaki sauce. And its really easy to make!

Ingredients (Serves 3)

1. Aubergines – 4 small – medium sized ones
Kabayaki Sauce – This can be bought in the supermarket, about 2 tablespoons per serving, or more if you prefer a saltier taste. You can also make your own:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. sake

You will also need:
1. A large bowl of cold water
2. A large grill/skillet, that is hot and well oiled
3. A Microwave oven

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So how do you make it?

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1. Peel your Eggplants

Here I have aubergines instead. Get all the skin off, but you have to work fast cause eggplants and aubergines will oxidize.
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2. Slice them up

Lengthwise, and dunk them into a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown.

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3. Chuck them into a microwave

For 2 minutes or until soft.

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4. Place them on a grill/on a hot skillet

I found it easier to coat them in the kabayaki sauce first, before placing them on the pan. You can also try grilling them first and then brushing on the sauce, coating them generously.

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5. Once nice and almost charred, they are ready!

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Grilled eggplant in kabayaki is amazingly simple, and amaaaaaazing on steaming hot Japanese rice. It is flavorful and wholesome, and the great thing about eggplant is that it is a good vehicle for soaking up flavors and sauces.

Serve with grilled chicken if you need some meat in your meals, otherwise great on its own with a warm bed of Japanese rice.

Itadakimasu!

T.

P.S.: Stumbled upon very pretty recipe blogs while writing this,

Just One Cookbook. 

Unintentional Vegan

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