Simmered Sautéed Eggplant

1 eggplant
1 tablespoon mirin
vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup dashi
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

Cut the eggplant in half lengthways and score the skin on the diagonal very finely. Then cut into 1/2-inch slices. Put them to soak in cold water for 10 minutes, then squeeze gently to remove any bitter juices.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Add the eggplant slices and sauté them over medium heat for 5 minutes until they are half cooked. Ladle in enough dashi to cover and then add the mirin, sugar and soy sauce. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the eggplant slices are very soft and the simmering liquid has reduced somewhat.

Choose small deep bowls for serving. Divide the eggplant among the bowls, spooning over a little of the cooking liquid. Garnish with some lengths of chives.

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