Roasted Japanese Eggplant

If you didn’t already know, eggplant, like tomato, is actually a fruit and not a vegetable.  This fruit is very low in calories with only 20 calories per cup. It’s a high source of dietary fiber and is chock-full of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B3 and vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, copper, potassium and manganese.  In addition, eggplant also contains important phyto-nutrients including phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.

Nasunin, found only in the skin of eggplant, is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.  A study published in a 2005 Scientific Journal reports that the nasunin in eggplant skins has anti-angiogenic properties.  Nasunin also helps eliminate the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, keeping your heart and the cardiovascular system healthy.

According to researchers from the US Department of Agriculture, chlorogenic acid, a dominant antioxidant found in eggplant, can lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and fights the free radicals that cause cancer. Chlorogenic acid also has antimutagenic properties which protect and prevent cells from mutating into cancerous cells.

Dr. Oz calls it the new “It” food.  This recipe is quick and easy.  Give it a try the next time you happen to be in possession of some fresh Japanese eggplant.

Directions:

  1. Wash the eggplant, trim off the caps and place them on a baking sheet.
  2. Broil for about 15 minutes, turning half way through to make sure the skin doesn’t burn.  The eggplant needs to be cooked through so if it’s still firm to the touch, leave it in for a few more minutes.
  3. Remove the eggplant from the oven and cut them into 2 inch long pieces.  Use either a knife or fork to separate them lengthwise into smaller pieces.
  4. Add the scallion and oil while it’s still hot.  Season with the oyster sauce, soy sauce and Mirin wine.

 

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