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.

Hilary Meyer
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2017




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • 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.

  • Meanwhile, combine tamari, rice wine (or sherry), sugar, vinegar and water in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

369 calories; protein 26.4g; carbohydrates 26.6g; dietary fiber 4.5g; sugars 9.9g; fat 17.8g; saturated fat 4.4g; cholesterol 65.8mg; vitamin a iu 313.8IU; vitamin c 15.3mg; folate 36mcg; calcium 41mg; iron 2mg; magnesium 45.1mg; potassium 509.5mg; sodium 598.4mg; added sugar 4g.

Reviews (7)

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8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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." Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was delicious! I made as per the instructions except I used low sodium soy sauce as I have not yet found tamari in a supermarket. I made the meatballs smaller than 3 tablespoons and served more to each plate...husband loved it and suggested it is a good dish for entertaining! Will pair with noodles and egg rolls for guests! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely delicious! Made exactly as stated except subed pinot noir for sherry because that's all I could find at my local shop. Would not change a thing. A bit time consuming but now that I know how to make it the next time will come together quickly. Definitely a keeper! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was delicious! Followed the recipe as written used Sherry instead of rice wine. Served with steamed Jasmine rice. Read More