Nasu no Hasami-age

【Ingredients】 (4 Servings)
Eggplant (なす / Nasu) 4
Green shiso (大葉 / ōba) 4 leaves
Ground chicken (鶏ひき肉 / Niwatori hikiniku) 120g
Onion (玉ねぎ / Tamanegi) 1/6
Shītake (What you used to make the sōmen tsuyu) 1
Ginger (しょうが / Shōga) (Ground) 1tbsp
Salt (塩/ Shio) 1/2tsp
Black pepper (ブラックペッパー / Burakku peppah) Pinch
Bread crumbs (パン粉 / Panko) 4tbsp
Eggs (卵 / Tamago) 1/2
Katakuri flour (片栗粉 / Katakuriko) 4tbsp
Salad oil (サラダ油 / Sarada yu) As needed
Ponzu (ポン酢 / Ponzu) 2tbsp
【How to Make】
① To stuff the eggplants, leave the stem on and cut each in half lengthwise. Next, with the knife blade parallel to the cut surface of the eggplant, cut from the bottom of the eggplant toward the stem as if you were going to cut the half in half again, but do not cut all the way through the stem. This is to create a space to hold the stuffing. On the skin side of each half, make shallow diagonal cuts in a crosshatch pattern, about 5-6 in each direction. Place the eggplant halves in water to remove bitterness. Dry each half with a paper towel. Mince the shītake and onion. Julienne the green shiso. Put the ground chicken, onion, ginger, salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, and egg into a mixing bowl. Mix by hand until you get a pasty consistency. Divide the mixture into 8 equal pieces.
② Coat the eggplant halves with katakuri flour, making sure to coat the insides of the cuts, as well. Stuff each half with the stuffing, and then coat the stuffed halves completely with katakuri flour.
③ Add 1-2cm (about 1/2 to 3/4 in.) of salad oil to a frying pan. Use medium heat to bring the oil to 160-170℃ (320-338℉). You can test the temperature of the oil by dipping in the tip of a cooking chopstick. If you see tiny bubbles emerge from the tip, the temperature is correct. Place the stuffed eggplant halves into the oil and fry until the meat browns.
④ Serve on a plate, garnish with the green shiso, and dress with ponzu.

Recipe Developed by: Machiko Tateno