One of my favorite things about this site overall is that many recipes for 'common' dishes are presented with a twist; be it for flavor, texture, or to make something healthier. This makes cooking a fun experiment when my husband and I want to take a risk and try something new to surprise each other, or our family and friends. What a boring kitchen (and tumbleweed filled internet) we'd have if there was only one way, one SET way to prepare a meal. That said, using Japanese eggplant will be a good challenge-both in finding it to purchase, and in ultimately making this tasty looking recipe. Cheers to variety!