Vegan Kabayaki Bowl (mock eel)
Around this time of year in July there is a tradition in Japan called Doyo-no-Ushi-no-hi. It falls this year on the 25th of July 2017. This is a day when some people eat eel . (Unagi) It is said that eel helps with the summer heat. Well I don’t know about that but I thought I would make a vegan version of this dish using eggplant . This mock eel dish doesn’t look particularly pretty but then neither does a dead eel and I’d much rather eat an eggplant .
First of all prick your eggplant with a toothpick to stop it exploding in the oven when baking and score around the top of the egg plant this will help when peeling off the skin.
Bake in the oven until tender. Take out the oven and when it’s cool enough to handles strip off the skin. Cut down the eggplant but leave a little bit attached at the top so it fans out into two halves.
Then make your kabayaki sauce using two tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce two tablespoons of mirin and a teaspoon of unrefined sugar.
Add this to a pan and put the egg plant into the pan cook and then flip over to coat both sides and let the eggplant soak up the sauce. Then cut some nori and add this to one side of your egg plant and place under the grill to make a crispy skin.
Serve this on rice mixed with gomashio ( a dry condiment like furikake made of sesame seeds and salt) topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds,sansho pepper and chopped onion or chives.
I think you will agree it may not be eel but a lot more ethically friendly.