With creamy eggplant braised in a meaty and spicy sauce, Mapo eggplant or Mabo Nasu is a mouthwatering Japanese-style Chinese dish that goes great over a bowl of rice.
- 3/4 cup dashi - 1 tablespoon hatcho miso - 2 tablespoon oyster sauce - 1 tablespoon mirin - 2 teaspoons potato starch - oil for frying - 450 grams Japanese eggplant - 1 tablespoon vegetable oil - 10 grams garlic (grated) - 5 grams ginger (grated) - 40 grams scallion stems (finely minced) - 140 grams ground pork - 1 tablespoon rayu (chili oil) - scallion greens (chopped for garnish)
Mix the dashi, hatcho miso, oyster sauce, mirin, and potato starch together until everything is dissolved.
Cut the eggplant into an oblique cut by slicing it at a 45 degree angle, rotating it a quarter turn and then slicing another piece off at the same angle.
Flash-fry the eggplant in oil preheated to 360°F (180°C) for 1 minute. Be sure to the skin side is down for the first few seconds of frying to set the pigment in the skin.
Transfer the fried eggplant to cooling rack to drain. Once all of the eggplant is fried spread them out on a few sheets of paper towels and use more paper towels on top to press out excess oil.
Stir fry the ginger and garlic in a tablespoon of oil until fragrant.
Add the minced scallion stems and continue to stir-fry until the scallions are translucent.
Add the ground pork and crumble it up with the side of a spatula. Stir-fry the mixture until well browned.
Tilt the pan to get the oil to drain to one side and and use a paper towel to soak up as much oil as you can.
Give the sauce a stir and add it to the pork and eggplant.
Let the eggplant cook in the sauce for about 3 minutes to allow all of the flavors to meld. Finish with rayu to taste and garnish with chopped scallion greens.