Spicy Air Fryer Japanese Eggplant

The Dressing in this recipe is what makes the eggplant spicy! If you're afraid of too much heat, lower the Garlic Chili Sauce in the dressing.  If you LOVE heat, you can add a little more!

  • Author: Katia
  • Prep Time: 9
  • Cook Time: 16
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 3 Japanese Eggplants, washed & unpeeled


  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce (like Tuong Ot Toi Viet-Nam)
  • 1/2 Tbsp 100% pure Sesame oil
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 green onions, green parts only, finely chopped and divided in half 


  1. Cut only tops off eggplants
  2. Air fry eggplants at 380 degrees for 10 mins, flip them half way through (If your air fryer does not have a pre-heat function, pre-heat for 3 minutes)
  3. While the eggplants are cooking, prepare dressing: In a small bowl, mix together rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and half of your chopped green onion.
  4. Once eggplant is cool enough to touch, transfer eggplants to a cutting board and grab some tongs.  Trust me, you'll want them. Cut the eggplant lengthwise, just about 3/4 of the way through (Not all the way through) to keep eggplant as 1 piece.  Spread open the middle of the eggplant and flatten with a spoon or fork.
  5. Very lightly sprinkle just a touch of salt on the eggplant, then brush dressing generously onto the meat of the eggplant.  (You will have a bit of dressing leftover and that will be used to baste onto the eggplant half-way through final cook and you can add more on before serving or serve some with the eggplant as a little dip.)
  6. Spray basket of air fryer with cooking oil (I prefer using avocado oil), then place eggplants back into air fryer, open side up.
  7. Raise Air fryer temp to 400 and air fry eggplants for 6 minutes, halfway through pause the air fryer and brush on more dressing.
  8. Remove eggplants from air fryer and enjoy immediately or cool enough to not scald your mouth. Serve with remaining green onion and remaining dressing.



If you have leftovers, you can reheat the eggplant if in whole pieces still in the air fryer on Reheat/350 degrees for 5 minutes. 

Keywords: Air Fryer, Eggplant, Asian-Inspired, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Side Dish

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