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Grilled Aubergine with Yakumi Sauce

Serves: 4

Ready in: 60 mins +

Vegan Friendly

Aubergine soaks up flavour so well, and is simply outstanding grilled. You don’t need any other vegetables for this dish. The yakumi sauce and aubergine is a perfect marriage. Just sublime. Japan: The World Vegetarian by Reiko Hashimoto (Bloomsbury Absolute, £20) is published on 30 April, 2020. Photography by Polly Webster.

Grilled Aubergine with Yakumi Sauce Recipe: Live Green & Good


2 large aubergines
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
½ tsp sea salt
2 banana shallots, sliced very thinly
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

For the yakumi sauce:

4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil


  • Cut the aubergines in half vertically with the stalk still intact. Preheat the grill to high. Brush the flesh side of the aubergines with the oil and place cut-side down. Grill for about 15 minutes, or until the flesh becomes soft and the skin burnt. Remove and leave to cool.
  • Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the salt to a bowl of water, and soak the shallot slices in it. Grind the toasted sesame seeds using a pestle and mortar.
  • Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, then into large bite-sized chunks or thick slices.
  • Place the aubergines on a large sharing plate or individual plates and then pour the yakumi sauce over the top. Drain the shallots, pat dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle over the top. Finish with a final scattering of ground sesame seeds and serve at room temperature.
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