Gaji Namul (Steamed Eggplant Side Dish)

Gaji namul is a simple Korean side dish made with steamed eggplants! It’s a staple side dish that’s easy and delicious!

Korean steamed eggplant side dish in a plate

Gaji namul is a popular summer side dish that is made with steamed eggplants. It’s a staple side dish that’s easy and delicious, especially with summer eggplants! 

Eggplants are in season! For this recipe, you’ll need Korean/Asian eggplants. They have tender skin and sweet flesh. You may be able to find them in your local groceries and farmers’ markets these days without a special trip to a Korean/Asian market.  Look for slender eggplants with a rich purple color and shiny skin, and without any soft or brown spots. 

Process of making Korean steamed eggplant side dish

The traditional way of making this dish is to steam the eggplants and then tear them into small strips. It’s very easy to overcook eggplants, resulting in mushy eggplants that fall apart during the tearing process. You can avoid this by cutting the eggplants into bite sized pieces before steaming them quickly. The key is to steam the eggplants until they are tender but still slightly firm.

Steamed eggplant side dish

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Steamed eggplant side dish

Gaji Namul (Steamed Eggplant Side Dish)

4.67 from 6 votes
Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • 2 medium size Korean/Asian eggplants
  • 1 scallion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon  gochugaru  Korean red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
  • pinch pepper


  • Cut the eggplants lengthwise in quarters. Then cut crosswise into about 2-inch pieces.
    Cutting eggplants into bite size pieces
  • Boil the water in a pot with a steamer tier or basket over high heat, covered. Place the eggplant pieces in the steamer, and steam until softened but still a bit firm, about 3 minutes.
    Steaming eggplants
  • Transfer to a bowl to cool.Add all remaining ingredients and gently toss everything together. Add more soy sauce or gochugaru to taste if needed.
    Seasoning eggplants for gaji namul
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