Food Forum
Vol. 32 No. 3  October 2018

MORE ABOUT JAPANESE COOKING

TRADITIONAL RECIPE

DEEP-FRIED STUFFED EGGPLANT WITH SOMEN IN TSUYU

In this recipe, the cooking liquid acts as the traditional tsuyu sauce for the somen. Since a substantial amount of this liquid is needed to prepare the eggplants, any remaining sauce may be served as tsuyu to accompany extra servings of somen, if desired.

Ingredients

Green onion
Serves 4

300 kcal Protein 10.8 g Fat 18.3 g (per person)

  • 4 Japanese eggplants, each 80-100 g / 3-4 oz.
Filling
  • 200 g / 7 oz. minced chicken
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 1 t chopped ginger
  • 1/2 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1 t sake
  • Cornstarch
  • 1 bundle somen, 50 g / 1.8 oz.
  • Oil for deep-frying
Cooking liquid
  • 300 ml / 1 1/4 C dashi stock
  • 3T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Kikkoman Manjo Mirin
  • 1 1/2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 green onions or scallions, chopped

Directions

  1. Without removing the stems of the Japanese eggplants, trim loose parts and slit the eggplants lengthwise criss-cross into quarters, taking care to keep the four pieces attached to the stem.*
  2. In a bowl, mix the filling ingredients and set aside. Dust the inner sides of the eggplants with cornstarch to help the filling stick. Fill the insides of the eggplants with the chicken filling (see photo).
  3. Tie one end of the somen bundle with cooking twine. Place into a pot of boiling water and cook as per package instructions. Keep the twine tied to drain and rinse the somen well with running water, and then drain again (see photo).
  4. Preheat oil to 170 °C / 335 °F. Deep-fry the eggplants until the meat turns light golden brown. Place on paper towel to remove excess oil.
  5. In a saucepan heat the cooking liquid to warm, and add the deep-fried stuffed eggplants. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes and then remove.
  6. Cut the stuffed eggplants in half crosswise. Cut off the tied end of the somen. Place one eggplant and one quarter of the somen into each of 4 individual serving dishes. Pour over just enough cooking liquid to cover the bottom of the dish and garnish with chopped green onion.

* If the eggplants are large, cut into 1 cm /1/2 in. round slices. Lightly dust the inner sides of the sliced eggplant and sandwich the filling between the slices.

Recipe by Kikkoman Corporation

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml