This long, slender eggplant variety is sweet and rich, with tender skin and soft, creamy flesh. It's less bitter than large globe eggplant, so it doesn't need to be salted before cooking. Also, because it is small and firm, it cooks much faster and doesn't need as much oil as larger eggplants.
Japanese eggplant is great roasted, grilled, steamed, or added to stews. It pairs well with basil, mint, garlic, lime, chiles, miso, sesame, peanuts, red curry, vinegar, and honey.
Other small eggplant varieties, like Italian eggplant, can be substituted.
Select firm, purple-black, shiny fruits with no soft or brown spots.
Because the skin is tender and fairly thin, it's not necessary to peel Japanese eggplant.