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Japanese v.s. Mediterranean Eggplant

opinionatedchef Nov 7, 2006 05:06 AM

I did a 'Japanese Eggplant' search in CH and posters had many diff opinions about the comparison of these 2 eggplants.

I will in next few dys. be doing my annual huge batch of moussaka. i've always used mediterr eggplants,which I sliced, and salted, rinsed, dried, brushed w/ oil and roasted.

Do you CH posters think japanese eggplants have same or milder flavor then mediterr eggplants? if they're milder, i won't use them for this bec. they need to stand up to other big flavors in moussaka.
thanks for your help.

  1. g
    ghbrooklyn Nov 7, 2006 04:03 PM

    Japanese eggplants are milder, and they also have less seeds and a smoother texture. I really like them, but for my eggplant parmesan I use small italian or dutch eggplants, or the lrge striped sicilians which have a thin skin(I find the large american kind to be mealy and bitter).
    So i guess I would recommend against japanese eggplants, if you want the eggplant flavor to hold up in your moussaka.

    1. HaagenDazs Nov 7, 2006 04:15 PM

      I've always found the Japanese eggplant to be softer and creamier. They will also be more of a pain to slice because they are so thin. Who knows, I think it's worth a try to use the Japanese.

      1. c
        cheryl_h Nov 7, 2006 05:05 PM

        Personally I prefer Asian eggplants to any other, but that's probably because I'm Asian! I made some baignan bhartha recently using Italian eggplant and it just tasted too bitter for me. The spices in baignan bhartha are pretty intense but I prefer this with Asian eggplant by far. I also make a very garlicky, spicy Chinese eggplant dish with Asian eggplant and it is always a big hit.

        1. s
          sam21479 Nov 7, 2006 05:21 PM

          Could you post a recipe for that spicy Chinese eggplant dish??

          Thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: sam21479
            c
            cheryl_h Nov 7, 2006 05:23 PM

            Sure. I posted this earlier:

            I make a spicy eggplant dish with Asian eggplants that is usually well liked. It's from Pacific Flavors by Carpenter and Sandison which I believe is out of print. My version of the recipe is as follows:

            1.5 lb eggplant
            2 ts dark soy
            1 medium onion, sliced
            8 cloves garlic, minced
            2 ts finely chopped ginger

            Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.

            Combine in a small bowl:
            1/4 cup dry sherry
            3 Tb oyster sauce
            1 Tb dark soy
            1 Tb sesame oil
            1/2 Tb Chinese chili sauce (I use sriracha)
            1 ts sugar.

            Stir fry eggplant in hot oil in wok, add soy sauce, sliced onion, ginger and garlic and fry until onion is transparent. Add all other ingredients, toss to coat well. Add enough water so eggplant cubes cover about 1/2 eggplant cubes. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until most of the liquid is reduced. Taste for seasoning.

            This dish keeps well so I usually make it in large quantities. It's good warm or cold - makes a great picnic dish.

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