Eggplant is not the most popular vegetable among the people I know. My family doesn't care for them. My kids won't even take a bite. They think the texture is gross. I happen to like eggplant, but only when it is made in Korean style. Here is a very easy-to-make Korean side dish called Gaji Namool (가지나물). It is extremely simple to make and tastes great to eat with some rice. 

To make this recipe, you have to look for Korean (Asian) style eggplants. They are longer and more slender than the common Italian eggplants that are available in most grocery stores in the U.S. Asian eggplants have a tender skin and a mellow flavor, which makes them perfect to stir-fry or to steam. I am using the steaming method this time. 

Because the eggplants are steamed instead of stir-fried in this recipe, they are extremely low in fat.  It is a healthier way to consume the vegetables. Even if you don't like eggplant, give this recipe a shot. You might start to think eggplants are not that bad at all.

These are Korean eggplants. Some eggplants can be very dark like these guys, while other types can have a much lighter shade. Either kind is fine.

Cut the eggplant in 3-4 sections, then cut each piece into 6-8 wedges.

Place them in a hot steamer and steam for 3 minutes, covered.

Take them out from the steamer and place them in a mixing bowl. Let them cool for a couple of minutes. Add the minced garlic, Korean soy sauce for soup,green onion, fresh chili (if using), sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Toss with your hand to incorporate the eggplant with the seasoning as you gently massage them. 

That's all. Easy, right?

Put them in a serving bowl and serve as a side dish to the meal.

This steamed Korean eggplant dish is so tasty. I had my lunch with various types of Korean side dishes. Out of all I had, I liked this eggplant dish the best. Very yummy to eat with rice. Since they are steamed, the flavor is locked in, and it has very fresh taste to it. And it is very low in fat.

This also can be a great vegetarian/vegan dish as well. If you have a vegan friend or family member and they don't mind eggplant, this might please them very well . Hope you can give this recipe a try.

~ Holly

Korean Eggplants Side dish (Gaji Namool)

4-6 servings as a side dish


  • 2 Korean (Asian) eggplants
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chili (green or red), chopped, optional
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Bring the steamer over med-high heat.
  2. Cut the eggplant to 3-4 sections, then cut each piece into 6-8 wedges.
  3. When the steamer is hot, place the eggplants and steam for 3 minutes. Take the eggplants out and place them in a mixing bowl. Let them cool for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl, and toss with a hand to incorporate the seasoning with the eggplant wedges as you gently massage them. Serve warm, or chilled, or at room temperature.

Here are more delicious Korean side dishes. Click the images below to get the recipes.

Cabbage with Soybean Paste Steamed Chilies Steamed Soft Tofu

If you enjoy trying Asian food recipes, follow DramaFever's Asian Food board on Pinterest!