A key player in Japanese cuisine is the quick meal consisting of rice with various ingredients on top, a ‘don’ or ‘donburi’ (meaning rice bowl). Typical variants are the unadon (marinated eel over rice), katsudon (fried pork cutlet over rice), gyuudon (marinated beef over rice) and oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice - literally ‘mother and child rice bowl’).
Depending on availability and budget some variations on the dish we love are fresh tuna, canned tuna, fresh salmon or marinated beef and pork which can be used in place or accompanied with the eggplant in this recipe.
3/4 cup short grain rice (can use brown rice here)
1 cup of water
1 large eggplant, cut into rounds 1cm thick
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons sugar
kizami nori (shredded nori seaweed)
1 negi (spring onion/scallion), thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Mix together miso paste, mirin and sugar.
Slice eggplant into 1cm thick rounds, oil a large baking tray and scatter eggplant on top. Brush with 2-3 teaspoons of the miso sauce and sprinkle with seasame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until soft and golden.
Place the rice and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Leaving the lid on, remove rice from heat and allow to sit for a further 10 minutes.
Remove lid, fluff the rice with a fork and spoon into large bowls.
Place eggplant rounds on top of the rice and scatter with nori, picked ginger and negi.
Decorate and customise your don with your choice of garnishes and serve with soy, wasabi and Japanese mayonnaise.