Eggplant sidedish

Gaji-namul 가지나물

Gaji-namul is a simple, delicious, everyday Korean side dish, meant to be eaten with other side dishes and rice.

It’s one of my favorites. I love the fresh taste, soft texture, and the beautiful vibrant purple color of the dish on the table. It’s refreshing and goes well with oilier items to offset their texture and taste. I never get tired of it!


If you are a vegetarian, replace the fish sauce with soy sauce.


(serves 4):

  • 1 pound of Korean eggplants (3-4 eggplants), caps removed and washed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, crushed
    Korean eggplants (gaji: 가지)



  1. Prep your steamer by adding 2 cups of water to it. Set heat to medium-high for it to boil, it shoud take about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut eggplants crosswise into 2½ inch pieces. Cut the thicker pieces in half lengthwise.
  3. When the water starts boiling, put the eggplants on the steamer rack and cover. Steam for 5 minutes over medium high heat.
  4. Remove from the heat. Take out the steamed eggplant and transfer to a cutting board. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes until you can easily handle them.
    steamed_eggplant (gaji-namul: 가지나물)
    steamed_eggplant (gaji-namul: 가지나물)
  5. Tear each piece into bite size pieces.

Make seasoning mixture:

  1. Combine garlic, green onion, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
    steamed_eggplant (gaji-namul: 가지나물)

Put it together & serve:

  1. Add the steamed eggplant to the bowl and mix well by hand or with the wooden spoon.
  2. Sprinkle with the crushed sesame seeds and serve with rice.
    steamed_eggplant (gaji-namul: 가지나물)
    steamed_eggplant (gaji-namul: 가지나물)



  1. purplegdr brooklyn joined 1/17
    Posted January 5th, 2017 at 2:46 pm | # |

    Hello! I am steaming baby bok choi now… what about using the same marinade and make “bok choi side dish”? :)

  2. Credmiston WA joined 7/16
    Posted July 21st, 2016 at 3:34 pm | # |

    Yum! Just made this and was dancing up and down waiting for the rice cooker to finish! Ate a huge bowl of rice and half the recipe as lunch. Happily full, mouth slightly burning just a warm slow burn from the pepper flakes, slight hum of sesame wafting around. Delicious!

  3. WhattheNorris North Carolina joined 5/16
    Posted May 20th, 2016 at 6:47 pm | # |

    Maangchi this is your first recipe I’ve made! I love your youtube channel and all of your videos and your personality! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! I will buy your book soon!! I think I over-cooked my eggplant a little, but this still came out so tasty! Even my boyfriend liked it!

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 21st, 2016 at 6:38 am | # |

      Your gaji-namul looks juicy, soft, and delicious! Yummy!

  4. MissBlackRabbit Montreal, Canada joined 1/16
    Posted February 8th, 2016 at 12:59 pm | # |

    Wow! 마시써요!
    So easy and delicious! I will adapt the sauce to my tastes but that’s a favorite :)

  5. yeyewynes Singapore joined 3/14
    Posted August 23rd, 2015 at 6:15 am | # |

    Oh, i found another favorite! I love fried eggplant but this one is a must try!

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 24th, 2015 at 2:29 pm | # |

      Thank you for sharing the photo! The steamed purple eggplant looks gorgeous! It looks juicy and soft!

  6. AndrineCK joined 8/15
    Posted August 13th, 2015 at 1:48 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Would love to know if I can keep this in the fridge for few days?


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 13th, 2015 at 7:29 am | # |

      Yes, you can refrigerate it up to a few days.

  7. Gillie joined 7/15
    Posted July 13th, 2015 at 1:56 am | # |

    I just finished gobbling this down! Big fan of eggplant, but this is now my all time favorite way of preparing it. Wow, it was so good, I nearly ate the entire amount in one sitting.

  8. Monique M. Florida joined 2/15
    Posted February 24th, 2015 at 3:26 pm | # |

    I really want to make this recipe, but I’ve been to several different stores and cannot find the hot pepper flakes. :(

    • Monique M. Florida joined 2/15
      Posted July 19th, 2015 at 8:45 pm | # |

      I FIIIINALLY found a Korean market around here!! >_< I found the hot pepper flakes, I got some dried anchovies as well and some kimchi. I am going to try a few of your recipes this week.

  9. kimrose seoul joined 2/15
    Posted February 5th, 2015 at 5:34 am | # |

    Hi maangchi…can u saw me your fish soy sauce?cause i cannot find in mart…

  10. indelibledotink Honolulu joined 5/11
    Posted January 25th, 2015 at 9:06 pm | # |

    This was tasty but the amount of sauce to eggplant seemed way out of proportion – I had to add much shoyu, salt, sesame oil, garlic, hot pepper flakes to make them seasoned. 1lb of eggplant would go well with the listed amounts of ingredients for the sauce.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 30th, 2015 at 9:01 pm | # |

      omg, I said in the video 1 pound of eggplants are needed but in the written recipe, I wrote 3 pounds! I fixed it now. Thank you for pointing out.

      • indelibledotink Honolulu joined 5/11
        Posted February 4th, 2015 at 6:37 pm | # |

        Great. I had a ton of eggplant to eat! Took them to a potluck and they enjoyed.

        We take my halmoni out to a Korean restaurant each week, and I share some of your recipes with the workers. They enjoy having people give them food!

        Will you post a yakgwa recipe soon?

  11. DJLiam Philippines joined 1/15
    Posted January 24th, 2015 at 7:17 pm | # |

    I tried it last week!!! It was awesome!!! :D

  12. Hi Maangchi, I recently discovered your youtube channel and really like the recipes you’re sharing! I was wondering how long can the eggplant side dish be kept in the refrigerator?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 5th, 2014 at 5:55 am | # |

      Welcome to my website!
      Gajinamul (eggplant side dish) can be kept in the fridge up to 2 days.

  13. Keej California joined 3/14
    Posted March 23rd, 2014 at 4:10 am | # |

    I just recently found your site and your videos are mouth watering :)
    Maangchi, can you show us how to make those pickle cucumber side dish. I just loved them. Thanks so much.

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