Eggplant Unagi Bowl

by MJ

This eggplant version of grilled “unagi” bowl is savory, sweet and delicious! 

Even if you’re not vegetarian or a fan of eggplant,  you will love this satisfying dish. The sauce is similar to a teriyaki sauce and can easily be adjusted to your preference. 

Japanese or Chinese eggplant works best for this recipe as the shape is long and slim to resemble unagi (eel) with fewer seeds but feel free to use any eggplant available. 

Cutting slits on the surface not only soaks up the sauce but also provides a similar appearance of eel. 

Pan frying the eggplant with the sauce provides the caramelization and creaminess to the eggplant.  For an optional charred appearance, use a torch, broiler or toaster oven. 

Eggplant Unagi Bowl

Serves: 2
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 4 Tablespoons sake or cooking rice wine 
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 
  • Optional garnish: green onions or sesame seeds 
  • Serving: rice


Trim the ends off the eggplant.  Slice in half, then slice each half lengthwise, with the option of not cutting all the way through. (This may be difficult with the top curved shaped ). Cut small slits throughout the surface. 

Heat  the oil in a pan and place the eggplant, cut side down. Pan fry for about 5 minutes until browned. Remove the eggplant from the pan and stir in the soy sauce, cooking wine / sake, and brown sugar together.

Add the eggplant back to the pan, skin side down. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant has softened. Turn the eggplant over to coat the sauce on the cut side and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn over again and continue to cook covered until the eggplant is tender and sauce has thickened. 

Did You Make This Recipe?
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