Green Beans and Eggplant Agebitashi

Agebitashi

Agebitashi literally means "fried and soaked" in Japanese. Food blogger Marc Matsumoto teaches the technique to making this savory dish on the Fresh Tastes blog.

Yield: 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup strong basic dashi
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (halve this if planning to soak the vegetables overnight)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 130 grams (4.6 ounces) green beans or flat beans
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) Japanese or Chinese eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (For garnish)

Directions

  1. Add the dashi, sake, soy sauce, sugar and salt to a small saucepan and simmer until until it no longer smells like alcohol.
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry your green beans with paper towels. If there is any remaining water on the surface they will spatter when fried. Trim the ends off the green beans and slice in half.
  3. Wash and thoroughly dry the eggplant with paper towels. Trim the tops off and then halve lengthwise, slice at a 45 degree angle into ⅓-inch thick slices.
  4. Prepare a wire rack lined with 3 sheets of paper towels.
  5. Fill a heavy bottomed high-sided pot, such as a Dutch oven, with 2-inches of vegetable oil. Heat until it reaches 360 degrees F (180 C).
  6. Fry the green beans in batches, until they are bright green and the skin just starts to blister. This shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds if your oil is hot enough. Transfer to the paper towel lined rack to drain briefly before transferring to the dashi mixture while they are still hot. Repeat until there are no more green beans.
  7. Fry the eggplant in batches until the skins are bright purple and they give a little when pressed. Drain on the paper towels, using more to press as much oil out of them as you can without smashing them and then transfer while still hot to the dashi mixture.
  8. This dish is best after being soaked overnight in the dashi, but you can also serve it after soaking for 30 minutes. Plate the green beans and eggplants into a large bowl, cover with some of the dashi mixture and then sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish.
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