Fairy Tale Eggplant in Ginger-Garlic Sauce

14 oz fairy tale eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise*
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch knob fresh ginger, minced

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the eggplant, cut side down. Add the water and cover. Cook about 2-3 minutes or until the eggplant is softened but not fully cooked. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sake and pinch of cornstarch and a pinch of sugar. Pour over the eggplant and recover. Cook about 5 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Serve as a side dish.

*or substitute sliced Chinese eggplant

My thoughts:

Who could resist buying a vegetable as cute as the fairy tale eggplant? No one I’d care to know. I wanted to make something to show off their diminutive size so a quick side dish seemed in order. I really liked how it came out-spicy but not hot. The perfect accompaniment to some marinaded grilled steak and rice.


  1. They ARE cute! Sounds like a nice, quick, filling meal. My husband won’t eat steak (narrow-palate issues, or bad experience, or something), but I think this would be good just with some mixed rice and veggies.

  2. Ohh I am so excited by this! I saw them at the store the other day.. but I already had too much produce.. but I have been thinking about them ever since. I like this idea!

  3. I’ve never seen this type of eggplant before, but they look so cute. I’d love to try them.

  4. SO CUTE! I’ve seen varieties that color but never that size. Yum! I just love eggplant.

  5. Anything with “fairytale” in its name has my seal of approval. And they really are cute!

  6. amber {daisy chain}

    I am bubbling with happiness right now because I’ve forgotten just how much I love these pretty little eggplants! Thanks for reminding me, your recipe looks d e l i s h!

  7. Those are pretty adorable and I love the garlic-ginger combo.

  8. This recipe looks really good..I’m going to try it. I grew these fairy tales for the first time and have been looking for different recipes…thanks!

  9. I’ve been checking in at your blog over the months. It’s really beautiful and I love to see what kinds of things you prepare. You brought me out of lurkdom with the eggplants though. They are gorgeous! I have a special place in my heart for eggplants. My grandfather, a farmer, gave me a luminous white eggplant once which was so beautiful that I couldn’t eat it for the longest time, I just enjoyed it on my counter. When I did finally cut it, I found the most amazing thing inside. The seeds were in the perfect shape of an angel with wings and a robe. Then I kept that in a bowl of lemon for days, showing everyone who came to my home! Never did eat the eggplant, but won’t forget it!

  10. I found your blog via Chowhound, where I went looking for a recipe for some baby eggplants I found in a store here in Germany. They are the deep purple kind, not the fairytale eggplants you used, but I bet they would work perfectly.

    Can’t wait to try this out! Steak and rice on the side sounds like the perfect side dish for the main course — the eggplants themselves 🙂

    I’ve seen full-size eggplants that look like these here (didn’t know what they were called, but they were so beautiful I had to buy one) here but never the small kind you show fitting in the palm of your hand. I’ll keep my eye out for them now though!

  11. I love fairytale eggplant (we get them from our local farmers market). This is our fav. recipe to use with them at least once a week. Thanks for the great idea! We leave out the Sake since we didnt have any the first time and it tastes awesome still.
    -A pro sous chef in DC

  12. I grew fairytale eggplants this year in containers, and now I actually know what to do with them!
    Thanks. Cannot wait to try this recipe.

  13. I bought and cooked these for the first time, but mine did not retain the beautiful color I see in your first photo. What's the trick?

  14. Abigail
    Maybe you slightly overbooked them? They go from bright to dull really quickly. Maybe try undercooking them slightly? Or not letting the skin come in contact with the pan?

  15. Rachel,
    Oops, I am the queen of overcooking. I also cooked them skin side down: 2 strikes. I will try again using this recipe & hopefully have better luck!

  16. Abigail
    Good luck! Of course, cooking skin side down is fine if you are not interested in preserving the color.

  17. Rachel, I take full responsibility: it's me, not the recipe (delicious sauce!).

  18. oops:

  19. I just came across your site and love the name btw first of all. This recipe attracted me because I adore eggplant. Thanks 🙂


  20. I found your blog by looking for an easy recipe for fairy tale eggplants. This was so easy and delicious. I didn't have sake, so I used a little Riesling. I just had the eggplants over rice for dinner — a perfect light late summer supper.

  21. My kids (and my dear husband) ADORE this dish. Thank you so much for helping me raise eggplant-lovers!

  22. Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it!