Surprisingly, it doesn’t even taste like eggplants.

Eggplants are typically paired with savory dishes or sauces (eggplant “eel”, anyone?), but we’ve discovered a new take on the purple vegetable. When our Japanese-language reporter Takagi Haruka read in a farming magazine that you can make jam from eggplants, she was too curious to not try it out. Apparently, it’s supposed to taste sweet and sour like a typical jam, and it only requires three ingredients.

● Eggplant (1 kilogram [2.2 pounds])
● Sugar (400 grams [14 ounces])
● Lemon juice (150 milliliters [5 ounces])

First, Haruka cut off both ends of each eggplant and sliced them into 1 to 2-millimeter-thick pieces. It can take a long time to chop a kilogram of eggplants so thinly, but once this part is over, half the battle is won!

Next, she started the process of sanitizing her canning jars by boiling them so they’d be ready to go once she was done making the jam.

Now on to the actual jam-making part! Haruka would like to point out that the mixture will look like brownish fried eggplants at first, but she promises that if you follow through until the end, it will turn a purple eggplant color.

To make the jam, add half of your sugar to a big saucepan that has your sliced eggplants in it already. Mix it together and let it settle until the eggplants begin to soften and the sugar dissolves.

Here’s what it looks like right after you mix it…

…and this is what it should look like about 10 minutes later. The eggplants should look like they reduced in size by half!

Next, cook them on high heat, making sure to stir enough so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom.

Feel free to skim off any foam that comes up to the surface.

Let it simmer for 30 minutes until it reduces to this mushy-looking mixture. It should look pretty brown at this stage, but that’s totally fine.

Add the rest of the sugar and continue to cook.

When you’re sure all of the sugar has dissolved, add your lemon juice.

The lemon juice not only gives the jam some tartness, but it also helps the mixture turn back to purple!

Continue stewing the jam until it’s almost totally reduced. Be careful spooning it into your canning jars when it’s done as it will be very hot.

And then you’re done! Haruka recommends trying it with yogurt. When she tried it, she was surprised at how both tart and sweet it was. She thinks anyone will like it.

It tastes so unlike eggplants that she probably wouldn’t believe you if you told her it was eggplant, let alone that it was a vegetable. If you’re curious, or if you’re looking for a way to sneak more vegetables into your or someone else’s diet, give it a try! Haruka gives it a 10 out of 10.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]