Korean Doenjang & Lemon Eggplant Banchan. Today, let’s elevate eggplant! Look into the back of your fridge and pull out that lonely tub of Korean doenjang. We’re going to finally put it to use! Doenjang – by itself – has that earthy pungent funk. So we’ll balance it out with a touch of honey and mirim. Drizzle that glaze into the eggplant and pan-fry it until it develops a sweet, earthy crust. Freshen it up with few grates of lemon zest and a handful of green onions. The result is a simple but fancy-looking dish – something that belongs on a chef’s table!
For this dish, you want to pick out male eggplants. Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds – which is a must! But how do I know which is male? Take look at the bottom of the plant. Males have a small, shallow circular dot, while females have a deep dash along the bottom. Also, we recommend picking out slender male eggplants. Like the width of a cucumber or slightly larger.
This dish is straightforward. But a few details to remember…
- When you first place the eggplant pieces into the frying pan, cook on a LOW heat with the lid-on (that way it steams)
- Make sure to garnish with a generous amount of lemon zest and pile of green onions. That citrus and onion flavor cuts through the deep, savory funk of the doenjang.
I hope ya’ll enjoy this veggie banchan! Mix and match with others – and eat it with a bowl of hot rice!
Dan-yul out 🕺
- 2 Male Eggplant
- 3 stalk Green Onion
- Few shakes Lemon Zest (Must-have!)
- Few shakes Sesame Seeds (For Garnish)
- 2 Tablespoons Doenjang
- 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Mirim
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Trim the ends off the eggplants. Then cut each eggplant into 3-4 cm pieces. Afterwards, use your knife to make a cross-shaped cut (reference video). Note: Don't cut it all the way through.
- Chop your green onion stalks into very thin slices.
- Now take out a mixing bowl and let's make the Doenjang-Lemon Sauce: Thoroughly mix Doenjang (2 Tablespoons), Lemon Juice (1/2 Tablespoon), Mirim (1 Tablespoon) and Honey (1 Tablespoon).
- Take a small spoon and drizzle the the Doenjang-Lemon sauce into the eggplant pieces. Make sure to rub the sauce over the top of the pieces as well.
- Add some oil to a frying pan. Get it hot. Then reduce the heat to a LOW. Carefully, place each eggplant piece into the frying pan - with the cross-shaped cut facing up. Then put a lid on and let it cook for about 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, take off the lid. Then flip each one over. Now raise the heat to a medium. Place the lid back on and let it cook for another 2-4 minutes. Note: Check on it to make sure that it doesn't burn. Once the eggplant is fully cooked through, turn off the heat.
- Plate the cooked eggplant. Sprinkle on some sesames seed. Then use a grater and sprinkle on some lemon zest - this is a key ingredient! Then finish-off with a handful of chopped green onions over the top. Bon Appetit - eat with rice!