Crazy Popular Eggplant Kabayaki Recipe

I shared a recipe recently on my Instagram account and it was really popular so I thought I am going to share with you guys too!

It’s Eggplant Kabayaki! Kabayaki is a type of Japanese sauce that is most commonly used for grilled eel, but I used it here for eggplant! The sweet glaze only needs four ingredients to make it, and all you do is simply combine them together- so there’s no reason not to keep it stocked up!

My husband is not a big fan of eggplant but he really enjoyed it so if you or your family member are not a fan of eggplant you might want to give it a try! Particularly because in this recipe I peel the skin of the eggplant, your kids might not even recognise it!

Eggplant Kabayaki
Serves 4

  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 tsp oil for cooking
  • Steamed rice

Kabayaki Sauce:

  • 60ml mirin
  • 20ml sake
  • 3 tsp unrefined sugar
  • 70ml soy sauce
  • Sansyo pepper – optional (Japanese pepper, similar to Sichuan pepper)


  1. Mix all ingredients of kabayaki sauce in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Cut off and discard the tops of the eggplants. Peel the eggplants.
  3. Place the peeled eggplants in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes (or microwaveable bowl and cover with cling wrap. Microwave on HIGH for one minute –note: not the healthiest option)
  4. Place the eggplants on a cutting board and cut each horizontally into halves.
  5. Butterfly the eggplants, kabayaki-style. Slice each eggplant half way down the middle, without cutting all the way through. Open up the slice and make a similar slit along the half. 
  6. Pat the eggplants with paper towel to remove excess water.
  7. Dust the potato starch over the eggplant.
  8. Heat a frying pan with 2 tsp of oil then arrange the butterflied eggplants in the pan, dusted side down. Cook until golden colour.
  9. Before flipping to cook the other side, dust more potato starch over the top facing side of eggplants then flip to cook.
  10. Pour the kabayaki sauce mixture into the pan and simmer over medium heat. Cook until the sauce has reduced to half the original amount.
  11. Serve with rice, extra kabayaki sauce and sansyo pepper

I enjoyed the Eggplant Kabayaki over rice and as part of a Teisyoku (Japanese set menu).

My lunch teisyoku menu included:

  • Eggplant kabayaki donburi (on brown rice)
  • Miso soup with Chinese broccoli
  • Sliverbeet Ohitashi
  • Chinese cabbage asazuke with ume vinegar
  • Daikon and kuki wakame (Japanese seaweed) kinpira

Doesn’t it looking delicious!?




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