There are other two eggplant recipes in this online collection that use the same cooking method as the recipe below — Eggplant Spread, Odessa Style and Georgian Eggplant Pkhali. Charring eggplants on grill, open fire, under the broil/salamander, or inside special kitchen devices (e.g., Bulgarian chushkopek) is known and widely used around the world for a reason. Burning and peeling off skin definitely improves the texture of grilled vegetables, but more than anything we crave for that sweet smokiness added to the eggplant flavor. The beginning and the basics are the same — grill, peel, slice/chop/mash. Sauces, spices, herbs, seeds, nuts, and other added vegetables make the difference, turn grilled eggplants into a dish that belongs to a specific cuisine.

Japanese Condiments

This version is the laziest way to serve Japanese grilled eggplants — with store-bought sauce and toppings. There is a number of Japanese sauces that are great with grilled eggplants, and okonomi is one of them. Commercial or homemade, they all include fruit and vegetables purees, sweet syrups, brewed vinegars, soy sauce, spices, and seafood/seaweed/mushroom extracts. They are an intense combination of sweet and savory and packed with umami. Usually, they are not hot. If you want to add some heat to the dish, add some shichimi togarashi or ground sanshō to the topping. Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning meant to be sprinkled on top of cooked rice, vegetables, and fish. There are many types of furikake available in asian stores. It becomes so popular, you can now find it in Asian food section of many supermarkets.

Other sauces include:

  • Soy sauce + grated fresh ginger
  • Soy sauce, key lime juice, and green or red yuzu kosho

I like adding a little bit of sake, mirin, and sesame oil to my sauces.
Other toppings include:

  • Chopped green onions or chives
  • Katsuo (Bonito) flakes
  • Black and white toasted sesame seeds
  • Dry chopped seaweed

In Austin, all ingredients are available at Asahi Imports and other Asian grocery stores.

Grilled Eggplant | Yaki Nasu

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: eggplant, glaze, grilled, Japanese, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe, sauce, spiced, vegetables
Servings: 4 portions


  • 4 each eggplants Asian, long
  • 1/2 cup okonomi sauce
  • 4 tbsp furikake assorted, with nori and toasted sesame seeds, with katsuo shavings, etc.
  • 2 tsp kosher salt adjust to taste


  • Preheat grill on high. Wash and prepare eggplants for grilling: make 5-6 scores and a hole in the center for steam to escape during the grilling.
    Japanese Eggplants
  • Grill on high heat until completely soft and with charred skin. Let them cool down to room temperature, cut off the stem, and peel.
    Charred Japanese Eggplants
  • Slice peeled eggplant across to 1" long portions and serve them vertically with some okonomi sauce and sprinkled with salt and furikake of your choice.
    Grilled Japanese Eggplants
  • Slice peeled eggplant to make 4-6 long strips and make little "nests" with them. Serve with some okonomi sauce and sprinkled with furikake of your choice.
    Grilled Japanese Eggplants
Grilled Japanese Eggplants