Skip to Content

When to Harvest Japanese Ichiban Eggplant? (Explained)

Sharing is caring!

Ichiban eggplant, a Japanese variant of eggplants that tastes sweet, delicious and can be cultivated in any garden or container. It is a perfect item for roasting, grilling, or adding some extra creamy flavor to dishes when cooked. 

When to harvest Japanese Ichiban eggplant?

The best time to harvest Japanese Ichiban eggplant should be two to two and a half months after planting. When you see them grown 3 to 6 inches long, have shiny skin, feel firm in the body, and hard in the stem. Use a sharp knife and cut at the stem, leaving two inches to grow from there again. 

When you are going to harvest Japanese Ichiban eggplants, you can easily find out by looking at their texture. The ripe eggplants have deep purple and thinner skin. 

You can check it by pressing your fingers on its skin, as it shouldn’t leave any dents on it if perfectly ripen. 

The eggplants can grow up to 10 inches in size, but you can harvest them when they have grown two-thirds of their mature size, that is 5-6 inches for the best flavor. 

The Japanese Ichiban eggplants are different from the standard global eggplants for their flavor, they are best for grilling and roasting. For their creamy texture, they become flavorful when added to different dishes. 

Their diameter is less than the regular ones, so they become sweet, tender, and well-cooked inside. The Japanese Ichiban eggplants have dark purple shiny skin that makes them more delicious when roasted, grilled, or added to salads.

Ultimately the thinner skin, taste, soft texture, and survivability of the plants in different weather conditions make the Japanese Ichiban eggplant different from other global varieties. 

So, when you harvest the Japanese Ichiban eggplants, avoid harvesting which has spots on it, has a mushy texture and the skin looks dull or not properly colored. Be careful when cutting the eggplants from the stem. 

When cutting, cut at the stem and leave 2 to 3 inches of the stem so that a newer can grow from there again. Also, try to cut them when they are young, 6 inches long, and have a mild skin texture. 

How many days for ripe Japanese eggplant?

The Japanese Ichiban eggplant usually ripens in 50-60 days. By this time, it can grow up to 3-6 inches in length which is good for cooking. However, in special cases, if you want a longer eggplant, you can wait up to 80-90 days. 

This will make the eggplant up to 10 inches long, but it is doubtful whether it will be able to maintain the quality of the eggplant. 

In addition to that, the best size for Japanese eggplant is two-thirds of its maximum size. large eggplants, although large, will not be creamy in terms of texture when cooked and at the same time, they may have yellowish spots on the skin.

Be careful when you cut the Japanese Ichiban eggplants from the plant, if its skin does not look glossy or looks dull from outside, it is the sign that the fruit was over-ripened.

How big should a Japanese eggplant be before picking? How big are Japanese eggplants supposed to get?

The standard size when harvesting a Japanese Ichiban eggplant is 3 to 6 inches, or you can measure by comparing it with your finger size.

This site maintains the perfect texture, creamy and soft inside, sweet and a mouthful of flavors, and finally the color.

If you want, you can harvest up to 10 inches even after growing. However, in that case, the quality of the crop will be lost. You will have to wait for 60-70 days to get this size.

Moreover, the larger size eggplants are not as good as the standard-sized ones. 

It takes more time to cook, is less creamy in flavor and texture, and tastes bland. Slightly immature and young eggplants taste the best. 

Over-ripen Japanese Ichiban eggplants are easy to identify, it has a yellowish color on the skin, looks dull from the outside and the stem looks weak when you cut.  

How to know when the Japanese ichiban eggplant is ripe? How to know when to harvest Japanese eggplant?

It takes around 50-60 days to ripen a Japanese Ichiban eggplant. The ripe eggplant can be identified by looking at its outer skin. It has a deep purple-colored and shiny-looking skin outside. 

There are several other signs that you will notice that your eggplant is ripe and ready for harvesting. The symptoms are mentioned below:

The color and texture:

You can feel the mild texture by pressing it with your hand. It will feel very soft on the eggplant. If squeezed firmly, it will come back to its normal state after some time.

If the skin color has very little greenish color in its body, it is not properly ripened yet. Besides, having white lines over the eggplant skin also means it is either not properly ripened or over ripen. 

The proper size and length:

It is better to harvest the Japanese Ichiban eggplant when they grow two-thirds of their mature size. Although they grow up to 10 inches in length, it is better to harvest when they are grown up to 3 to 6 inches. 

Be careful about the right time when harvesting the Japanese Ichiban eggplant. It takes around 50-60 days for them to grow the standard size. 

By this time, they should be grown about 3-6 inches long and have a deep purple color, which indicates the ripen condition of the eggplants.

The younger ones first:

As they deteriorate very quickly, make sure to harvest the younger ones that will buy you some time to store them and keep them fresh. Use a sharp knife cleaned with alcohol and cut from the stem when harvesting the eggplants.

How do you pick a Japanese ichiban eggplant?

You can tell by the color and texture of the eggplant whether it is time to pick it. In addition to that, the shape and length of the eggplant will be considered as a noticeable aspect. Eggplant ripening time should be given more importance. 

Although it takes 60-90 days for the eggplant to ripen fully, after 50-60 days it becomes ripen properly and ready to be cooked, at the same time the taste of young eggplant will be much higher than that of an adult eggplant. 

With the above in mind, you can pick the best eggplant in your garden for you. Make sure it has the shiny deep purple color on its skin and no spots or white marks.

Also, the stem should look fresh and alive. This will make it easier to identify the right eggplant to pick.  

How to harvest Japanese eggplant?

You need to be careful when harvesting a Japanese Ichiban eggplant from the garden. If eggplant is not picked carefully, the bacterial infestation can lead to reduced crop yields. In this case, some aspects must be taken into account.

They are discussed below:

Choose the right ones:

When harvesting Japanese Ichiban eggplants, you need to make sure you harvest the younger ones. This will help you to keep them stored fresh for a long time. For this, choose the younger ones, that are 3 to 6 inches long.

Also, look for any spots in the skin. If the eggplant has a yellowish color on its skin, it indicates that the eggplant is overripening, which is not suitable to eat. So, cut the younger ones first

Use a clean knife:

When you cut the eggplants from the stem, make sure you use a clean knife. Use pruning shears or proper harvesting knives that are curved and specially made for harvesting. 

Rinse the blade with alcohol to prevent any bacteria from spreading to the plants.

Keep a little stem:

Cutting the eggplant stems correctly will provide more in the coming years. So, keep 2 to 3 cm distance from the fruit to the stem when harvesting a Japanese Ichiban eggplant. 

This will help the plant to grow a new stem from the cut part and provide more eggplants in the future.

Final Thoughts

You can harvest your Japanese ichiban eggplant after 50 to 60 days. That way, the eggplant will be perfectly ripen and you can get the tasty vegetable. Make sure that the eggplant look smooth and shiny on the outside, this way you can ensure that the eggplant is ripen properly.

Sharing is caring!