Vegan Japanese Recipe: Japanese-style Sweet & Sour Eggplants

Eggplants or Aubergines or Nasu/茄子 in Japanese are a very popular vegetable in Japan whose people have many recipes of their own that would satisfy many vegans and vegetarians worldwide.
These recipes are simple and the ingredients should be easy to obtain!
Sweet & sour sauces basically originate from China but Japan has its own versions, albeit lighter in texture and taste!

Japanese-style Sweet & Sour Eggplants

INGREDIENTS: (for 2 people)

Eggplants: 2~3
Freshly grated ginger: 1 tablespoon
Green shiso/perilla: 5 leaves
Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
Sugar: 1 and a half tablespoons
Salad oil: 1 large tablespoon and a little
Golden sesame seeds: as appropriate


Take off stem part and cut eggplants lengthwise in four. Clean under running cold water. Wipe off all water with kitchen paper.

In a skillet pour the oil and fry the eggplants until they have attained a nice color.

In a large bowl drop the soy sauce, grated ginger and sugar. Mix well. Add the shiso leaves finely cut in thin strips. mix quickly.

Add the fried eggplants in the bowl. Stir them gently as to cover them completely. Let soak them in for at least 5 minutes. The fact that the eggplants are hot will melt the sugar and help them absorb the sauce.

Place the eggplants in a dish. Pour all the sauce on top and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
The Japanese eat such a dish in summer at room temperature.
Great snack with beer!

Here is a variation with the same ingredients with mini tomatoes and shishito hot chilies added for more color and presentation. And taste, of course!


Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

8 thoughts on “Vegan Japanese Recipe: Japanese-style Sweet & Sour Eggplants”

  1. Love this recipe. Just made it today. So nice. I have a question… there is no sour element / ingredient in the marinate… how come it is call sweet and sour?


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