Korean Steamed Eggplant in Soy Sauce (Gaji-Namul)


Eggplants belong to the plant family of nightshades, which are very good sources for dietary fiber and nutrients. Eggplants have been my favourite vegetable since young and I have been researching on ways to cook them differently ever since. One day, as I was watching the Korean variety show, Running Man, I came across a side dish which the actors and actresses enjoyed very much. I quickly googled about it and to my surprise, the Koreans have been eating Gaji-Namul (가지나물) every day as their side dish.

In order to make Gaji-Namul, it is highly recommended to use the Asian or Korean long eggplants, as they are milder, less bitter and more tender in texture as compared to the North American eggplants. Only few ingredients are required to produce such a delicious and tasty side dish. Well, I was so worried that I cooked to little, only to realise that I was wrong the moment I start serving them. Thankfully, the dish turned out way better than I expected. On top of that, hubby and I were able to finish it up in the blink of an eye.

Korean Steamed Eggplant in Soy Sauce (Gaji-Namul) Recipe

Serves: 3-4 pax / Prep Time: 10 mins / Cook Time: 5 mins / Level of Difficulty: Simple


  • 3 Asian eggplants


  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. red chilli flake
  • 2 stalks scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp. roasted sesame seeds


1. Cut the eggplants into 2- or 3-piece sections, followed by cutting each piece into half lengthwise.

2. Pour approximately 2-3 cups of water into a large pot or wok, and place the steaming rack in it. Bring the water to boil.

3. When boiling water starts to produce steam, place the eggplants onto a heatproof plate. Place it onto the rack and steam on high heat with the lid on for 5 minutes.


4. Eggplants are perfectly cooked when a chopstick can easily pierce through them with little resistance. Eggplants will turn out to be mushy if they are overcooked.

5. Remove the cooked eggplants and set it aside to cool down.


6. In the meantime, mix all the sauce ingredients into a large bowl.


7. Once the eggplants are slightly cooled, tear each piece of eggplants lengthwise, approximately 1/2 inch strips by hands and place them into the sauce. Keep the skin on each strip for colour and texture.

8. Mix the eggplant pieces with the sauce, gently by hands.


9. Add in the remaining roasted sesame seeds and serve as a side dish.






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