RECIPE: Sweet and Sour Simmered Eggplant

  • 3 min read

Miwako's sweet and sour simmered eggplant

Tangy, sweet, and savory - this quick homemade eggplant dish is the perfect appetizer or side dish to cook up when you have limited time!

One of the best parts of this recipe is its simple cooking method - microwaving! It is common knowledge that many Japanese people cook their vegetables in a microwave for a quick yet nutritious vegetable meal.

Japanese people love eating vegetable side dishes and sharing them at the family dinner table together! Many people attribute the health of Japanese people to their daily consumption of vegetable sides dishes, which provide them with a balanced, nutritious meal. This recipe will show you how to make a similar type of vegetable appetizer enjoyed across Japan in your own kitchen!

Many Japanese vegetable side dishes include foundational ingredients such as sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, mirin, soy sauce, and mentsuyu. These ingredients are often used in different ratios and quantities to make the perfect combination of flavors to your liking.

Mentsuyu is a popular Japanese condiment meaning “noodle broth” and is a star ingredient of this dish. The mentsuyu provides a combination of traditional ingredients that will bring a umami depth of flavor to this dish. It’s no wonder that it is a favorite ingredient for many traditional Japanese households, who use mentsuyu as a trusty meal base!

Rice vinegar is another staple in Japanese kitchen cabinets. Japanese rice vinegar has many complex layers of flavors and is not simply sour as its name may imply. It is loved for its combination of tangy, sweet, and vinegar tastes. Japanese people often add this ingredient to their cooking because it enhances the flavors of the dish.

This sweet and sour eggplant dish will show you how to use these ingredients to make an everyday Japanese dish with simple, foundational methods!


Serves 2 



* Available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining "Wa" Care Package of Japanese cooking essentials.


  1. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into quarter pieces. If the skin is too hard, it's better to peel them using alternating stripes.
  2. Coat the eggplant with toasted sesame oil.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 mins at 600w.
  4. Mix the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Lift the plastic wrap and add the marinade. Recover with the plastic wrap and microwave for another 2 mins at 600w.
  6. Let it sit until it's cooled down (Refrigerating overnight will make it taste even better).
  7. Serve on your plate. If you have some greens like spring onion or coriander, you can use them as a garnish on top. 

Additional info:

  • You can keep it in the fridge for 3 days.
  • If you prefer to not use a microwave, you can shallow fry the eggplant instead. 


Recipe courtesy of Miwa's Japanese Cooking Class

Miwa was born in Kamakura. She spent one year in Texas, US and another year in California, US during high-school and university respectively. In 2016, due to her husband, Yuki’s study abroad, she spent one year in Cambridge, UK where she came up with the original idea of Japanese Cooking Class in Shinagawa & Kamakura. She is currently teaching at the biggest cooking studio in Japan while holding a class at home.  She is the mother of two and a full-time worker. Always busy her food is not for tourists but for the taste of a Japanese mother.(See her Instagram for food pictures). If you want to know the a well-balanced, time-saving and delicious Japanese family cuisine, please join her lesson!

Qualification; Medicinal cooking.
<Best classes and workshops in Shinagawa prefecture on Tripadviser (2010/06/18)>
<Instagram: @miwajapanesecookingclass>


Introduction courtesy of Kimberlee Laney

Kimberlee Laney

As a Japanese-Korean-American, my love for Japanese food first came from my grandmother's kitchen! Japanese food feels like home and I love being able to cook it anywhere in the world to connect with Japan in my own little way. I love diving deep into the layers of Japanese food and always marvel at the food diversity between prefectures. I'm currently eating my way through Tokyo and taking up photography with my Instagram account @capturingkim!

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