Recipe by Olha
Madame Benoit suggests to serve this as a side dish to cabbage rolls, which resembled ours in shape, but were stuffed with mashed potatoes mixed with thinly sliced mushrooms, chopped green onions and one or two eggs to bind everything. Salt and pepper are added, then they are cooked in dashi and a few spoonfuls of soy sauce. To serve the cabbage rolls as a soup, make smaller rolls. When cooked, place one in each soup bowl and pour the dashi over.
JAPANESE EGGPLANT TANAKA
- 1 small Japanese eggplant
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄3 cup sake
- 1⁄4 teaspoon aji-no-moto (monosodium glutamate) (optional)
- 6 cups water
- 1⁄2 ounce kombu seaweed
- 1⁄2 ounce shaved bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
Directions See How It's Made
- HOW TO MAKE THE EGGPLANT: Wash eggplant, but do not peel.
- Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan.
- Add the cubes of eggplant and saute over high heat until lightly browned here and there.
- This should take about 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Stir well, cover pan and simmer over low heat until eggplant is tender and sauce is just a bit thicker.
- Serves 2.
- HOW TO MAKE THE DASHI: Bring the water to a fast rolling boil.
- Add kombu seaweed.
- Stir for 2 to 3 minutes to release its flavour.
- Then remove with a slotted spoon (leaving it in the soup would make it too strong).
- Bring the water back to a fast rolling boil and add the bonito shavings.
- Bring back to the boil, then quickly remove from the heat.
- Let the bonito shavings settle in the bottom of the pan---this usually takes 2 to 3 minutes.
- Strain; now the dashi, or broth, is ready to use.
- Yield: 6 cups.
- *InJapan it is used as much as we use salt, and it is a vegetable protein derivative.
- If you wish to use it, look for the Japanese type in Oriental shops.
- **Kombu:Kelp or dried seaweed tangle, which is one of two most basic and important ingredients for making soup stock (dashi).
- ***Shreddeddried bonito (a fish), the other essential for basic stock (dashi).
- Can be purchased in one piece, then grated, or already grated and packaged, which is much more convenient.
- DASHI: This soup stock is the base for almost all Japanese dishes, so it is important to learn how to make it.
- Chicken stock can replace dashi, but a certain flavour will be missing.
- Madame Benoit's World of Food.