Marinated Eggplant “Aemono” Style is known as “Nasu Aemono” in Japanese. I have been making this dish for over 20 years now, and it is simple to make and comes out absolutely perfect every time. You can eat it warm or cold and the longer you let it marinate the more soft and flavorful it becomes. You can refrigerate it for up to two weeks and pack it in a airtight container and bring it along to a picnic or barbecue. The only you regret you may have is not bringing enough because you will run out as soon as people taste it.
I use Japanese eggplant, or Nasu, to make this dish. Japanese eggplants are light purple and the skin is a little thinner than other varieties of eggplant. Any eggplant can be used for this recipe – but it is important to slice each piece to around the same thickness so the eggplant cooks uniformly.
Aemono is a simple style of preparation that translates to dressed dishes. In this case, the dressing is tsuyu, a sauce made with soy and dashi (kelp or Bonito broth).
In Japan, Nasu is a common ingredient used in many dishes. Check out my Nasu Dengaku recipe for another delicious method of preparing eggplant. So Nasu Aemono is simply eggplant marinated in tsuyu. The eggplant is first sautéed in oil to soften. Whole cooking the eggplant will soak up the oil which adds to the exquisite texture of this marinated delight.
Marinated Eggplant “Aemono” Style Is a simple and delicious side dish, appetizer, salad or snack that you can throw together in minutes. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
(Originally published in July 2021, Reposted in March 2023)