Japanese Roasted Eggplant Yakinasu

A tender roasted Japanese eggplant drizzled with a soy glaze sauce, also known as yakinasu. It’s light, delicate and most importantly delicious. Make this healthy Japanese eggplant recipe in under 15 minutes.

Yakinasu is a very traditional Japanese way to prepare eggplant.  The recipe is so simple and comes together quickly. Follow along to learn how to cook Japanese eggplant below.

If you weren’t a fan of eggplants before, this recipe just might change your mind!

Japanese roasted eggplant yakinasu served on a white plate topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and dashi soy sauce.

What is Roasted Japanese Eggplant Yakinasu?

There is no pan or stir-fry needed for this Japanese eggplant recipe. Eggplant is roasted over the open fire on the stove top, dunked in an ice bath and peeled.

Then it is drizzled with an umami soy glaze sauce made with monkfruit erythritol sweetener, bonito flakes, soy sauce, and Japanese sake.

It makes a delicious main or side dish. Can be topped over rice or eaten alone.

What’s a Japanese eggplant and how are they different than regular eggplants?

  • Japanese eggplants have a soft and spongy texture.  They are long, thin, and have a sweeter milder flavor.
  • American eggplants also known as globe eggplants are big, round with a tougher texture and slightly bitter taste.

Japanese roasted eggplant yakinasu served on a white plate topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and dashi soy sauce.

What ingredients do you need and what are the instructions to make this Japanese eggplant recipe?

  • Japanese Eggplants – long and narrow, and can be found in Japanese or Asian supermarkets.
  • Bonito Flakes – made from shaved dried bonito fish.  Commonly used to make broth and responsible for giving Japanese cuisine that signature umami flavor.
  • Soy Sauce – low sodium is preferred.  For gluten free you can use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Japanese Sake – use Japanese cooking sake which is fairly inexpensive and can be found in most Asian supermarkets.
  • Sweetener – to keep this recipe sugar-free, we use a monkfruit erythritol blend.  It is low carb, keto friendly and has 0 calories.  Feel free to use your preferred sweetener or regular cane sugar.
  • Green Onion (scallions) – chopped and used for garnish.
  • Ginger – you can also add a bit of grater ginger if preferred.

Grill eggplant over an open fire on the stove, then dunk in ice bath and peel.  In a small bowl, add ingredients for the soy glaze and stir until well combined. Top with bonito flakes and drizzle with soy glaze mixture.

How to cook Japanese eggplant?

There are many ways you can enjoy Japanese eggplants with some of the popular methods being:

  • Roasted on Stove Top or BBQ
  • Boiled In Soup
  • Stir Fried
  • Baked with a Miso Glaze

Do you need to peel the skin of Japanese eggplant?

Generally, the smaller the eggplant, the more tender the skin is and therefore can be eaten. The larger eggplants however have tougher skin and are best eaten with the skin peeled.

However, for roasting like this recipe, the skin is always peeled since it will be charred during the roasting process.

What are the nutrition information for this Roasted Japanese eggplant recipe?

  • 23 Calories
  • 2g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Fiber
  • 3g Protein
  • 1g Fat
  • 1mg Cholesterol
  • 1009mg Sodium
  • 40mg Potassium
  • 0mg Calcium
  • 1mg Iron
  • 30ui Vitamin A
  • 1mg Vitamin C

Japanese roasted eggplant yakinasu served on a white plate topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and dashi soy sauce.

Did you have any other Japanese vegetable recipes I can try?

Now, let’s get making this Roasted Yakinasu Japanese Eggplant recipe!

  • Prepping Time 5M
  • Cook Time 10M
  • Total Time 15M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~2g
  • Servings 2

Ingredients

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (1)

2) In a stove top pot, add 2 tbsp Bonito Flakes, Soy Sauce, Japanese sake and Monkfruit Erythritol Blend.  Bring to boil on high heat.  Once boiling, remove from heat and let it steep for at least 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes of steeping, strain Bonito Flakes making sure to push out all excess liquid from Bonito Flakes with a ladle or spoon.  Set sauce aside.

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (20)

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (21)

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (22)

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (9)

3) Make 3 vertical scores on the eggplant (top to bottom).  This will help you peel the skin off the eggplants later.

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (7)

4) Finely slice green onions and set aside.

5) On a stove-top or BBQ, set heat to medium-low and place eggplants on the grill.  Roast each side for about 1.5 – 2 minutes or until the eggplant skin looks wrinkly.  Entire eggplant should take 7-8 minutes.

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (23)

6) In the meantime, prepare a bowl with cold water and set aside.

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (11)

7) After eggplants are done roasting, dip the entire eggplant in the cold water for a couple of seconds and set aside.  Note – the eggplants will be hot, so handle with caution!

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (13)

8) Make sure eggplants are cool enough to touch and then cut off the top section of the eggplants.  Gently peel off the skin using your hands (skin should peel off easily) and transfer to a serving plate.

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (24)

9) Top with a pinch of Bonito Flakes, green onions and drizzle of soy glaze.  Enjoy warm!

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (25)

Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (26)

Hope you enjoy your Roasted Japanese Eggplant Yakinasu!

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More Recipes

Japanese roasted eggplant yakinasu served on a white plate topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and dashi soy sauce.

Japanese Roasted Eggplant Yakinasu

A tender roasted Japanese eggplant drizzled with a soy glaze sauce, also known as yakinasu. It's light, delicate and most importantly delicious. Make this healthy Japanese eggplant recipe in under 15 minutes.
4.91 from 10 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to cook Japanese eggplant, Japanese eggplant, Japanese eggplant recipe, Roasted Japanese eggplant
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 23kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Whole Japanese Eggplants
  • 2 tbsp Bonito Flakes can sub with 1/8 tsp of hondashi
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 tsp Monkfruit Erythritol Blend or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tbsp Bonito Flakes topping
  • 1/2 Stalk Green Onions topping

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (1)
  • In a stove top pot, add 2 tbsp Bonito Flakes, Soy Sauce, Japanese sake and Monkfruit Erythritol Blend.  Bring to boil on high heat.  Once boiling, remove from heat and let it steep for at least 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes of steeping, strain Bonito Flakes making sure to push out all excess liquid from Bonito Flakes with a ladle or spoon.  Set sauce aside.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (9)
  • Make 3 vertical scores on the eggplant (top to bottom). This will help you peel the skin off the eggplants later.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (7)
  • Finely slice green onions and set aside.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe
  • On a stove-top or BBQ, set heat to medium-low and place eggplants on the grill. Roast each side for about 1.5 - 2 minutes or until the eggplant skin looks wrinkly. Entire eggplant should take 7-8 minutes.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (23)
  • In the meantime, prepare a bowl with cold water and set aside.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (11)
  • After eggplants are done roasting, dip the entire eggplant in the cold water for a couple of seconds and set aside. Note - the eggplants will be hot, so handle with caution!
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (13)
  • Make sure eggplants are cool enough to touch and then cut off the top section of the eggplants. Gently peel off the skin using your hands (skin should peel off easiland transfer to a serving plate.
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (24)
  • Top with a pinch of Bonito Flakes, green onions and drizzle of soy glaze. Enjoy warm!
    Japanese Roasted Eggplants with Soy Glaze - Yakinasu Recipe (26)

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1009mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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