Aubergines are one of my favourite vegetables and I will always choose an aubergine dish if I can at restaurants (except if there's beef, and I have to admit baba ganoush still defeats me). And nothing goes better with aubergine than oil. Life is tough.
I grew up with a mother who cooked something different everyday. But she announced she was graduating from the kitchen once we left home and will now only cook what she likes when she likes-- so it's lucky my dad also likes cooking. But when we see her, she'll always cook something special for us. She's one of those people who can open a fridge, glance at what's in it and whip up something delicious. No sweat. She makes it look SO easy.
One day when I didn't have much in the fridge except for a lonely aubergine, she made me some Namban Nasu, a simple Japanese dish of aubergine marinated in vinegar. According to Google, Namban means Southern Barbarian so I guess this translates as Barbaric Southern Aubergine??? Who cares because it's so simple but very moreish.
First you cut up the aubergine into thick manageable slices.
Fry them until nicely soft but not burnt (mine are a little burnt but let's ignore that coz I'll eat aubergine even if it's burnt.)
Meanwhile, get a bowl and add the following: Japanese soy sauce, mirin or sugar, vinegar and a dash of chilli powder in a 4:3:2:pinch ratio but see what works for you. You need to get a nice balance of salty, sweet and sour with a hint of heat and you can adjust to your taste.
When the aubergines are cooked, add and mix them immediately into the soy sauce/mirin/vinegar combo and let it sit for a few minutes so that it absorbs the marinade. You can either eat it warm or cold.
I like it with a bowl of steaming hot Japanese rice and some mentaiko-nori (seaweed with spicy roe). Umai!