Soy-Glazed Eggplant Donburi

2 servings


20 minutes

total time


2 Japanese or Chinese eggplants (7 oz, 200 g; for a globe eggplant, cut into wedges or rounds with the skin on to hold its shape while cooking) 7 200

€“1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (for salting the eggplant)

1 tsp ginger (grated, with juice; from 1-inch, 2.5-cm knob) 1 2.5

2 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch

4 Tbsp neutral oil (divided)

4 Tbsp mirin (a fairly close substitute is 4 tsp sugar + 4 Tbsp sake or water; adjust the sweetness to taste; read more about mirin) 4 4

2 Tbsp soy sauce (or use gluten-free soy sauce for GF)

2 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice (typically 1⠔ cups (250 g) per donburi serving)

½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds


Slice 2 Japanese or Chinese eggplants lengthwise into 2 cm thick slices. Then, sprinkle with €“1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Set aside for 15 minutes, then wipe off the moisture with a paper towel.

Peel the ginger skin and grate the ginger (I use a ceramic grater). Then, measure 1 tsp ginger (grated, with juice) and set aside.

Put 2 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch in a small tray. Then, thinly coat both sides of the eggplant slices with the potato starch.

To Cook

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 Tbsp of the 4 Tbsp neutral oil and distribute it in the pan. Then, add the eggplant slices in a single layer. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Until then, do not touch the eggplants in order to achieve a nice sear.

When the bottom side is nicely seared, drizzle another 2 Tbsp of the oil on top of the eggplant and flip the slices to cook the other side for an additional €“4 minutes.

Once the second side is cooked to a golden brown color, reduce the heat to medium low. Add 4 Tbsp mirin, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and grated ginger.

Bring it back to a simmer and spoon the sauce over the eggplant a few times. If the sauce thickens too fast (due to the potato starch), add 1 Tbsp water at a time to loosen it a bit. Remove from the heat when the eggplant is well-coated with the sauce.

To Serve

In individual donburi bowls (a bit bigger than rice bowls), divide the 2 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice and drizzle some sauce on top of the rice.

Then, place the eggplant slices on top. For presentation, I overlap each slice slightly. Garnish on top with ½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds and shiso leaves. Serve immediately.

To Store

You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and keep them for 3 days in the refrigerator or for up to a month in the freezer.


Serving Size



363 kcal

Total Fat

29 g

Saturated Fat

23 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat





679 mg

Total Carbohydrate

17 g

Dietary Fiber

4 g

Total Sugars

10 g


3 g

2 servings


20 minutes

total time
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