October 19, 2009

Spicy Eggplant is Spicy

At a recent farmers' market, I ran across -- and bought -- Japanese eggplant, which I had never cooked with before. In fact, I haven't consumed any variety of eggplant in a very long time after an unfortunate eggplant parmesan encounter when I was quite young. This recipe may have broken that block...

Spicy Eggplant
from Martin Yan's Chinatown Cooking

For the Sauce:
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 TBSP hoisin sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp plum sauce

4 Asian eggplants (about 1 pound), stems removed
vegetable oil for deep-frying

2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 jalapeno chili, sliced into rings
pinch of ground Sichuan peppercorns

basil leaves
chopped cilantro or sliced green onions

Prepare the sauce: Stir the chicken stock, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and plum sauce together in a small bowl until blended.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces.

Pour enough oil into a 2-quart saucepan to come to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat to 350 F. Deep-fry the eggplant in batches until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Reserve the oil.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add 1 TBSP of the reserved oil and swirl to coat the sides. Add the garlic, ginger, chili, and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the sauce and bring to a simmer.

Add the eggplant and stir to coat. Scoop onto a warm serving platter. Serve garnished with basil leaves and cilantro or green onions.

Notes: As per the recommendation in the book, this was served with strips of pork marinated in char siu sauce and also stir-fried. This nicely complimented the spicy flavor of the eggplant dish, and that was even with the fact that I ended up leaving out the sliced jalapeno.

Posted by Jennifer at October 19, 2009 9:50 PM

(Carry on)

I have several nice eggplanty dishes, including one fondly known as Nightshade Casserole. I feel now that I should cook it for you sometime.

I like Rosa Bianca eggplants, and in fact tried to grow some this year, but the Yard Bunny ate all the seedlings.

Posted by: bear at October 19, 2009 11:28 PM

The eggplant was tender and well-seasoned, spicy without being too spicy, and it did indeed work well with the char sui pork. Yum.

Posted by: Michael at October 26, 2009 9:12 PM

I've been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook/submit


Editor and Community Developer
Foodista.com -- The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit

Posted by: Melissa at December 22, 2009 6:19 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?