Nasu Nibitashi or braised eggplant is a popular Japanese side dish. Nibitashi refers to a style of braising vegetables in a seasoned broth. One of the main ingredients in the braising liquid is Dashi, a simple to prepare broth flavored with kombu, a sea vegetable and Bonito flakes. Long, thin Japanese eggplants are traditionally used in this preparation, If unavailable, substitute with smaller eggplants.
- Preheat Mini Braiser pan over medium heat until a sprinkle of water skitters and dissipates, approximately 7-9 minutes.
- While Mini Braiser is preheating, trim ends off of eggplants. Cut eggplant in ½ lengthwise. Score eggplants halves on skin side, making shallow cuts across top of eggplant. Slice scored eggplant halves on diagonal into 3” pieces.
- Bring water to a boil in sauce pan. Add bonito flakes and Kombu simmer for 2 minutes and strain into a bowl.
- Add ginger, tamari and mirin to Dashi liquid and stir to combine.
- Place eggplant pieces in a bowl, fill bowl with room temperature water to cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Lift eggplant out of water and place in a clean bowl, shaking off excess water.
- Cook eggplant skin side down for 5-8 minutes until browned. Turn eggplant pieces over and pour braising liquid over the top.
- Place lid on Braiser pan. When Vapo-Valve™ begins to click steadily turn heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes until eggplant is very tender.
- Remove lid, take pan off the stove and let eggplant cool to room temperature in pan.
- Serve eggplant hot or at room temperature, garnish with minced scallions.
- For a vegetarian or vegan version omit bonito flakes from Dashi broth.
- To add a little bit of spice to braised eggplant, add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes to braising liquid.
- Braised eggplant is delicious served hot or at room temperature.