Yaki onigiri – grilled rice balls

My Japanese style Mabo Dofu (Tofu) recipe is quite versatile and you can replace Tofu with vegetables such as eggplant. All eggplant lovers should try this dish! It is very easy to cook but you need patience to precook eggplant pieces until they are tender. If you are OK with the oil intake, you can deep fry the eggplant pieces. But I prefer cooking them in a frying pan, though I still need generous amount of oil.


  • 4 servings
  • 2 medium to large Eggplants
  • Oil
  • 250-300 g Pork Mince
  • 1 clove Garlic *finely chopped
  • 1 small piece Ginger *finely chopped
  • 4 Spring Onions *finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dark Colour Miso
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Toban Djan (Chili Bean Sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons Sake
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock (or Water 1 cup & Asian Chicken Bouillon Powder 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Potato Starch


  1. Cut off the green bit of Eggplants and cut in half or quarter lengthways, then cut diagonally into small pieces OR cut into 1.5 to 2cm thick pieces.
  2. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of Oil in a frying pan and cook Eggplant pieces until tender. Repeat the process until all Eggplant pieces are cooked.
  3. Place all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Heat a frying pan or a wok, cook Pork Mince breaking up, add Garlic, Ginger and Spring Onions.
  5. Mix the sauce mixture again, then pour it in and bring to a boil and let it thicken.
  6. Add pre-cooked Eggplant and gently mix and combine.
  7. Serve with freshly cooked rice.