In this mixed vegetables agebitashi, fried sweet potatoes, squash, eggplants and green beans were deep fried then soaked in a mixture of soy sauce, dashi and mirin.
Sounds strange? Keep an open mind because this vegetable dish is delicious. Just give the veggies enough time to bathe in the sauce and all will be well.
Before you fry the vegetables, make the sauce. Some call it broth, others prefer to label it a dressing, but whatever you want to call it, the mixture is the same — dashi, soy sauce, mirin and a bit of sesame seed oil.
Dashi, made by boiling dried and fermented tuna with kombu (a seaweed), gives off a rich umami flavor. If that sounds too foreign, don’t worry, you can buy dashi in granule form and you just dissolve it in water. Soy sauce provides saltiness. Mirin balances the saltiness with its natural sweetness. Sesame seed oil imparts a nutty taste and aroma.
The vegetables are fried one by one. Once scooped out from the hot oil, the fried vegetables are spread in the sauce. Just repeat that process for every kind of vegetable in your agebitashi.
Once you have all your vegetables soaking in the sauce, leave them there for about half an hour to give them time to soak up the flavors.
Mixed vegetables agebitashi
- 500 grams sweet potatoes
- 500 grams squash
- 3 to 4 large eggplants - preferably Asian variety
- 200 grams green beans
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon dashi granules
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin
- ½ teaspoon sesame seed oil
To complete the dish
- cooking oil - for deep frying
- toasted sesame seeds - to garnish
Prepare the vegetables
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into wedges.
- Scoop out the seeds of the squash and discard. Peel the squash and cut into wedges.
- Cut each eggplant into halves vertically. Cut into half-inch slices.
- Trim the ends and sides of the green beans.
Make the sauce
- Stir together all the ingredients for the sauce. Make sure that the dashi is completely dissolved.
- Pour the sauce into a wide shallow bowl.
Fry the vegetables
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Deep fry the vegetables, one kind at a time. Scoop out with a kitchen spider to allow excess oil to drip off.
- Drop the fried vegetables into the sauce. Make sure every piece is soaked in sauce.
- Leave the vegetables to soak for another 30 minutes.
- Serve the mixed vegetables agebitashi at room temperature topped with toasted sesame seeds.