pound Asian eggplant, especially Korean (2 to 3 large), cut in half crosswise, then lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
Neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola, for grilling
tablespoon soy sauce
tablespoon maple syrup
tablespoon granulated sugar
teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
scallion, thinly sliced on the bias, for garnish
- Place the eggplant in a colander set inside the sink. Sprinkle with the salt, toss to combine and let sit for 30 minutes to drain its excess moisture.
- While the eggplant drains, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high-heat cooking, or heat a gas grill to high. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, sugar and garlic powder until the sugar is dissolved.
- Carefully grease the grill grate: Use tongs to grip a wadded paper towel dipped in oil and then rub the grates with the oiled towel. In the colander, toss the drained eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil. Place the eggplant on the hot, greased grate. Grill until charred at the edges, 1 to 2 minutes per side. If using a gas grill, close the lid between flips. (See Tip for stovetop method.)
- Add the grilled eggplant to the bowl with the sauce and gently toss, making sure each slice is thinly coated. Arrange the slices with the sauce on a large platter. Crack over some black pepper and garnish with the scallion.