Japanese Eggplant and Tomato Salad

This salad celebrates summer! With home-grown tomatoes and small eggplants it is the essence of the season. Grilling or steaming the eggplant makes it sweet and creamy. The light dressing is flavored with ginger and sesame and is perfect to bring out the sweetness of the vegetables.Japanese Tomato Eggplant Salad

Chilled Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Hiyashi Nasu to Tomato no Sarada
serves 4 as a side dish
page 235
The Dressing:

  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons minced scallion, white part only
  • 4 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

In a small saucepan, combine the ginger, scallion, komezu, shoyu, sugar, and sesame oil. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Transfer the dressing to a small bowl, and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill the dressing.
The Vegetables:

  • 4 to 6 Japanese or Italian eggplants, stemmed
  • 1 medium tomato

Broil the eggplants until their skins blister and char lightly. Peel the skins. Cut each in half crosswise. Cut each section into quarters.

Other methods I’ve used for the eggplant: A.) char the skins over a hot burner, peel away the skins, then steam for 8 to 10 minutes. B.) use a vegetable peeler to remove skins, then steam.

Put the tomato into boiling water for 30 seconds. Peel the skin. Cut away the core, then squish out the seeds. With my home-grown tomatoes, I put the clear tomato water back into the salad. Cut the tomato into 1/2-inch cubes.
Serving:
Arrange the eggplant on a platter and top with the tomatoes. Chill. At the table, pour dressing over the vegetables. Toss and serve in individual dishes.

Japanese Tomato Eggplant Salad

Ms. Shimbo notes that her mother steamed the eggplants with skins-on; the skins turn to an off-putting grey, so she peels them for her version. If you can’t find small eggplants, you might be able to cut the wetter, seedier part out of a large eggplant. Peeling is a must, because large eggplants have thick skins.

Other Japanese Salads from Tess

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