Tamari-Ginger Meatball & Eggplant Casserole


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.

Cook Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
6 sevings


  • 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

  • 1 ½ 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


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees 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 degrees 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 Facts (per serving)

369 Calories
18g Fat
27g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 3 meatballs & 1 cup eggplant
Calories 369
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 10g
Added Sugars 4g 8%
Protein 26g 53%
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Vitamin A 314IU 6%
Vitamin C 15mg 17%
Folate 36mcg 9%
Sodium 598mg 26%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 45mg 11%
Potassium 510mg 11%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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