Simmered Eggplant with Ginger Sauce
Nasu No Ohitashi (1 vote)
1 medium eggplant
Cut the stem end off the eggplant, but don't trim the blunt end. Cut the eggplant in half lengthways, then cut each piece across once so as to make four quarters of roughly the same size - you should cut much nearer the blunt end. Bear in mind that the stem ends seem to lose more size in cooking.
1 x 1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon good-quality japanese soy sauce (eg Kikkoman)
In a pan wide enough to take all four pieces in a single layer, bring 1.5 pints water to the boil. Add the eggplants, skin side down, and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, turning after about 3 minutes, until soft but not mushy (test by pricking with a fork).
Drain the eggplant pieces and cool on a plate, skin side up (don't throw away the remaining liquid; use it to make stock). More liquid will come out as they cool; when cool enough to handle, press gently with your hand to squeeze out water without crushing the eggplant. Avoid squeezing out too much - the eggplant should still be somewhat moist.
When cool, slice each piece lengthwise into 1/8-inch pieces. Arrange slices casually on small dishes or saucers. Mix ginger and soy sauce and spread on top of the eggplant.
This dish can be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled. To serve hot, slice and dress the eggplant as soon as it's cooled enough for you to handle.
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