Katsu cubes
Side dishes
Spinach rolls and sesame sauce
Asparagus bunches
Katsu cubes
Cheesy miso aubergine
Cabbage fritters
Oven baked tofu
Japanese salad rolls
Vegetables in the bag
Braised leeks
Sweet soy mushrooms
Sweet sake carrots
Introduction :: Soups and dashi :: Egg dishes :: Sushi :: Fast food :: Noodles and rice :: Side dishes :: Desserts
Serves 4
These small bites are my own invention. Any vegetable could be used in this recipe you just have to make sure that the roasting time matches the vegetable. For example parsnips and sweet potato might need to be cooked in the oven for longer. If you don't have any bbq sauce made up use up something you have leftover from a previous recipe.

1 aubergine (eggplant)
2 courgettes (zuccini)
1 egg
100ml (½cup) milk
flour for dipping
Vegetable oil for frying

Bbq sauce
30ml (2tbsp) tomato sauce
20ml (1tbsp) vegetarian worcester sauce or Hendersons or HP brown sauce
30ml (2tbsp) mirin
20ml (2tbsp) sake
20ml (2tbsp) sesame oil
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
20ml (2tbsp) soy sauce
2 teaspoons white sugar

First of all make the bbq sauce by mixing all of the ingredients from the tomato sauce down to sugar in a bowl. Grate the ginger on the finest grater you have.

If you find this sauce too sweet use a savoury tomato sauce. If you can't find a vegetarian worcester sauce use another type of brown sauce - use your favourite.
Next cut the aubergine into cubes and the courgette into thick slices. Dip them in the bbq sauce and place them on a baking tray.
Roast them in a medium oven for about 30 minutes until they are just cooked through. Allow them to cool.
Place the flour in a bowl. Whisk the egg and milk together and place the mixture in a separate bowl. Finally place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. (There are some notes on Japanese breadcrumbs and tips on making your own breadcrumbs in the glossary)

Dip each katsu cube in the flour first, then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs.
Heat some oil to about 180°C (356°F) in wok or an electric deep fat fryer.

Deep fry the cubes until they are golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with Japanese mayonnaise or ordinary mayonnaise.
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Mirin is a sweetened sake with a similar taste to a sweet sherry. It is used a lot in Japanese cooking and used in many recipes in this book so it is worth seeking out a bottle. Lots of supermarkets now stock mirin and you will more than likely find it in your local Asian grocer. It can be quite expensive but no more than a good sherry.
Sesame oil isn't generally used for cooking but added as a finish to sauces. The oil should be dark brown and have a strong toasted sesame seed flavour. Use any Asian style brand. You will find it in most supermarkets.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine. The quality can vary enormously but for cooking purposes I would buy quite a cheap one to start with. If you like to drink it buy a big bottle.
Japanese mayonnaise is lovely. It's worth seeking out a bottle. Have a look in your local Asian supermarket. If you can't find any fear not as traditional western mayonnaise works perfectly well with this dish.
The Breadcrumbs used in Japan are called panko breadcrumbs and are particularly light and crispy. They are made from bread without crusts. They are availabe in some Asian shops and also extensively online.

But why not make your own. All you have to do is cut the crusts off some old and drying white bread and lay them out on a tray so they are exposed to the air and allow them to dry naturally for a couple of days in your kitchen. Don't pile the bread up or keep it in a closed container otherwise it will go mouldy instead. When the bread is dry just whizz it up in a food processor or crush it up in a pestle and mortar.