Super easy grilled Asian eggplant recipe is vegan and bursting with flavor from the ginger and chili glaze that is going to wow your family and guests.
We have a little heat wave going on, also known as Indian summer, and it is just GORGEOUS weather. I hope you have not put away your grill for the summer. This is a recipe that you are going to want to take it out of storage again. If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can also use an indoor grill pan. That works fabulous as well. A fabulous vegan dessert to accompany your Asian Eggplant is our Grilled Nectarines with Coconut Cream.
Meatless Monday Idea
Super easy grilled Asian eggplant is going to be your new meatless Monday recipe. Eggplants (aubergines) have a real meaty texture and like mushrooms can transform a meat and potato eater into a vegan, well almost. When the Asian eggplants are grilled, they become super tender on the inside, chargrilled and a little crisp on the outside. They almost take on a sweet caramelized flavor.
However, it is this glaze that is added on at the last few minutes of grilling that is going to wow your senses. We make this dish quite often. However, today we are absolutely starving. We began to eat the props before we could even grab a photo.
Why you are going to love Super Easy Grilled Asian Eggplant
Fall/Autumn is a change of seasons. We need to take good care of ourselves as the climate around us is changing. Clean eating becomes even more of a higher priority during these times for our family. If you don’t put good fuel in the engine, she is not going to run well. You may be interested in our Feed the Spleen: Nourish the Body post. This post includes nourishing meal plans to support your spleen qi.
Super easy grilled Asian eggplants are vegan, gluten-free, diabetic-friendly if you exchange the maple syrup with your sugar substitute of choice, low-carb and a fun way to enjoy a little Asian fusion eggplant dish without the hassle deep-frying or steaming.
Farmer’s Market Picks
Don’t you just love farmers markets or wet markets? We love getting those in season vegetables and enjoy supporting our local growers. On this particular day, we had some true die-hard farmers as it was raining cats and dogs. I suggest when purchasing your Asian eggplants you purchase the smaller similar sized size for two reasons. When the Asian eggplants are THIS big, they will not fit on a grill pan. Secondly, the smaller they are the quicker they will grill and are slightly sweeter.
We like to use Asian eggplants instead of your standard Western eggplant (aubergine) for our Super Easy Grilled Asian Eggplant recipe. They have fewer seeds and are smaller so they grill faster. However, you can also use regular Western eggplants but you may want to slice them lengthwise in 3-4 slices so that they grill evenly.
When you are ready to prepare your Super Easy Grilled Asian Eggplant recipe, here are some little hints to help you along…
1) Eggplants are like sponges so they absorb everything, especially oil. We wait to brush the olive oil on the Asian eggplants until we are just about ready to throw them on the grill. Don’t use too much oil as you don’t want greasy eggplants, you just don’t want your eggplant to stick on the grill.
2) Use a medium-low heat to grill the Asian eggplants as you want them to roast on the inside without burning on the outside.
3) We close the lid of our gas grill while cooking as it helps cook the Asian eggplants faster without burning. If you are doing this on a grill pan, you can also use a lid to partially cover to help distribute the heat evenly.
4) You will want to grill the Asian eggplants with the cut side down first for about 4-5 minutes depending on how large they are. Don’t leave your grill unattended as they can go from perfectly cooked to incinerate in a nano second. The way that you will know it is ready to flip your Asian eggplant on the grill is the skin will turn from a deep purple to a light brown color and when you grab one with your grilling tongs they are soft and pliable.
5) You want to make sure that your grilled Asian eggplant is soft and pliable along the entire vegetable as there is nothing worse than biting into a raw eggplant. Have you ever tried to eat raw eggplant? If you have, you will never want to do that again.
6) When we flip the Asian plants over to the other side with the skin side up then we put the glaze on to allow it to penetrate the grilled Asian eggplant in the last few minutes of cooking.
Super Easy Grilled Asian Eggplant
- 3 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 inch ginger
knob peeled and grated fresh (1/2 teaspoon dried ground)
- 1 chili
small chili to taste or heat tolerance or can use 1 tablespoon finely chopped red pepper if you like it mild
- 1 clove garlic
peeled and chopped finely
- 2 tsp maple syrup or to taste (or can use 1 teaspoon of sugar alternative of choice)
Grilled Asian Eggplants
- 3 Asian eggplants
washed (Don't cut in half until just ready to put on grill)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
or can use coconut oil or oil of choice
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- cilantro garnish (optional)
- Preheat grill (if using outdoor grill). If using indoor grill pan, spray pan lightly with spray oil.
- Make your glaze topping: In a small bowl, combine tamari (soy)sauce, sesame oil, ginger, chili to taste or just some chopped red bell pepper for color, garlic and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
- Slice your Asian eggplants lengthwise (or can use Western eggplants but you will have to cut them 3-4 times lengthwise so they cook evenly). Brush olive oil on both sides of the eggplants.
- Grill the eggplants cut side or flesh side down for about 3-5 minutes on a low-medium heat with the lid closed depending on how large your Asian eggplants are. If you are using a grill pan, cut the eggplants so they can fit lengthwise in the pan, spray lightly will oil and find a lid that can cover your grill pan at least partway. You will know when your eggplant are ready to be turned over as the skins will turn from a dark purple to a light brown and when you grab them with the tongs they are easy to squeeze.
- Turn your eggplants over so that the cut side is facing up. You should have nice grill marks on your eggplant. Spoon over the glaze topping on top of each eggplant. Close the lid of your grill and cook for another 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your eggplants. Remove your Asian eggplants from the grill.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro and enjoy.