Tamari-Ginger Meatball & Eggplant Casserole

Tamari-Ginger Meatball & Eggplant Casserole

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2017

Eggplant soaks up the flavors of ginger, garlic and tamari in this Asian-inspired casserole recipe. A hot pepper in the topping adds a bit of heat, but opt for sweet if you prefer.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 2 pounds eggplant, preferably Japanese (see Tips), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari
  • ¼ cup Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1½ pounds lean ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped lightly salted peanuts
  • 1 small red hot or sweet red pepper, seeded and minced


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place eggplant in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (or similar-size 3-quart baking dish). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Bake until starting to brown, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine tamari, rice wine (or sherry), sugar, vinegar and water in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  4. Combine pork, garlic, ginger, white pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Using about 3 tablespoons for each, form the mixture into 18 meatballs. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Roll meatballs in it until well coated. (Discard any remaining cornstarch.)
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved sauce and cook, turning the meatballs to coat with the sauce, until it is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the meatballs, sauce and scallions to the eggplant.
  6. Bake the casserole until the eggplant is very tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a meatball registers at least 165°F, about 15 minutes.
  7. Combine cilantro, peanuts and red pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the casserole just before serving.
  • Tips: A smaller, thinner variety with deep purple skin, Japanese eggplant has little to no bitter seeds and a mild, sweet taste. It's great for roasting, grilling and stir-fries. Choose firm eggplants with no bruised areas.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 3 meatballs & 1 cup eggplant
  • Per serving: 369 calories; 18 g fat(4 g sat); 4 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 36 mcg folate; 66 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 314 IU vitamin A; 15 mg vitamin C; 41 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 598 mg sodium; 510 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (25% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 3 vegetable, ½ other carbohydrate, 3 lean meat, 2½ fat

Reviews 4

May 17, 2019
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By: Jackstng
This was absolutely delicious. The flavor was a little bit sweet and savory. The eggplant was a perfect compliment to the meatballs. Wasn't heavy tasting at all. Fairly easy to make for a weeknight which I did. This is definitely something I would make again.
February 01, 2019
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By: nmchilecat
Let me say I don't think I can fairly rate this recipe because of the changes I made. I am new to Eating Well, so I have things in the freezer I am trying to use up. I grew up poor and HATE to throw away food. Therefore, I used Costco frozen meatballs, which wasn't the best choice because they are Italian. Since I wasn't frying the meatballs dredged in cornstarch, I added the ginger, garlic, white pepper, and 2 T. cornstarch to the sauce. It was very thick. When I added it to the meatballs, and the meatballs to the eggplant, it just didn't seem saucy enough. When I put it back into the oven for the last 15 minutes, it smelled like it might be burning, so I took it out and added a little more tamari. Considering everything I did differently, it really wasn't too bad. Hubby and I both agreed that it would probably be better with the meatballs in the recipe. So I will make it again that way next time. I served it with jasmine rice.
October 23, 2017
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By: FreshCilantro
This was delicious! Cooked exactly as directed. Great flavors and quite filling. Served with rice. My husband also loved it and asked for it to be "in the rotation."
October 18, 2017
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By: Minerva
This recipe was great - tasty and easy to prepare. I couldn't find japanese eggplant so used regular ones. The meatballs were too large (used 3 tablespoons as suggested in recipe) so next time I'll make them about half that size. I had the leftovers today and they were just as good as the first day.
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