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Everyday Harumi
by Harumi Kurihara
This is one of my top three favorite recipes and it is one my family loves, too. It is important to prepare the eggplant by soaking the cut pieces for 5-10 minutes before cooking. In Japan we always start by chopping then soaking vegetables like eggplant and burdock before preparing them; by doing this you remove any bitter flavors.
Serves 4


• 1 lb 3oz eggplant
• 1/3 cup soy sauce
• 1/3 cup mirin
• 2½ tablespoons superfine sugar
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar, unseasoned
• sunflower or vegetable oil for deep-frying
• 2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced leeks or scallions
• 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
• 1 to 2 red chilies, seeds removed and finely sliced into rings
• shredded leek washed and drained, to garnish


1. Trim the eggplant and, using a potato peeler, make some stripes in its skin. Then cut into 1in thick disks and then quarters. Place them into a bowl of cold water, soak for 5-10 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

2. Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and rice vinegar to make a sauce and set aside.

3. In a skillet, heat enough oil to cover the eggplant. When hot, add the eggplant pieces and deep-fry at a medium-high temperature (340°F).

4. When the eggplant is cooked (when it is soft in the middle) remove from the skillet and drain off any excess oil. Put in a bowl, add the sauce, then the minced leek, garlic, ginger, and chili and combine.

5. Serve with some shredded leek on top.


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