Strange Flavor Eggplant

Serves: 4 as an entrée, 8 as an appetizer

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vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan corn-free iconCorn-free dairy-free iconDairy-free egg-free iconEgg-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free

This simple recipe is a great candidate for a make-ahead dish. I have served it straight out of the refrigerator as an appetizer with some nice grilled slices of a hearty wheat baguette. Or you could serve it warm as a main course with cooked white or brown rice. Even though the original recipe calls for pureed cooked eggplant, I stick to a rough chop because I like its texture.

Ingredients

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375° F. Rub the eggplant with the vegetable oil, wrap with aluminum foil and place on a baking tray. Bake until a knife easily pokes through the center, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, unwrap foil and let cool atop the foil for about 15 minutes.

Slit the cooled eggplant lengthwise into two halves and use a spoon to scoop out the cooked eggplant, avoiding the skin. The skin, though edible, will take away from the silky texture of the cooked flesh. Roughly chop the scooped eggplant and set aside.

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and water in a small bowl. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium heat, add half the sesame oil and cook the ginger, garlic, green onion and pepper until they are fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan and cook for an extra 30 seconds. Add chopped eggplant and crumbled tofu to the pan and stir well until heated.

Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro, remaining sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Recipe by Uma Bangalore, PCC Cooks instructor

Source: Recipe adapted from Barbara Tropp’s “China Moon Cookbook”

More about: eggplant, spices

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