Slim, Light Purple, Chinese Egg Plants?
I DON'T KNOW JUST WHAT TO DO...........
I picked up a package of 6, slim, light purple coloured, Chinese egg plants ON SALE last Week and they're still sitting in the fridge. I'd really like to use them up tonight since I'll be cooking due to the big March snowstorm that's keeping everyone sequestered at home in Toronto....................... WICKED WINTER WEATHER!
My favorite easy-Chinese-eggplant meal: Slice the eggplant into 1/2" rounds and toss them with salt (as you probably already know, this draws out some of the moisture). Let them drain in a colander while you chop an onion or two (heck.. you have 6!). While the onion is sauteing in olive oil, chop some celery, making sure to include plenty of those delicious leaves, and mushrooms if you have them on hand. When the onions are just beginning to turn golden around the edges, toss in a dollop of leftover wine and another dollop of balsamic vinegar(or one or the other). While the liquid is cooking off, rinse the eggplant rounds and pat them dryish. Add some more olive oil to the onion-wine-vinegar mixture and toss to coat the eggplant. Cook it for a few minutes, stirring fairly often, then add the celery, mushrooms, and minced or pressed garlic to taste. Then (lazy me) I'll toss in a can or two of stewed tomatoes (or simply diced tomatoes) and maybe some thyme, some oregano.. any good aromatic Mediterranean seasoning, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and simmer. I serve this over polenta or rice, or as a pasta sauce.
Slice them in half lengthwise and score the flesh in a cross-hatch pattern (don't cut through the skin through). Put slivers of garlic here and there in the cuts; brush generously with olive oil and bake in a hot oven (400) until soft and a little browned. Delicious! It would be even better if you could do them on a grill but probably not in the snow.
This weather is sucking big time.
Those eggplants are quite lovely and tasty. You can use them as you would use any eggplant, but I find they are less bitter than the regular large eggplants. I am always a fan of eggplant in a nice tomato sauce for pasta.
The following suggestions assume you have a lot of Asian ingredients in the house, anyhow, in case you do (and I wouldn't be surprised if you have some of these things!)
1. Simmered Japanese eggplant in broth: This is a wonderful way to really enjoy the delicate flavour of this variety of eggplant (gadzooks, i sound like the dubbing in the original Iron chef)
Cut 1 eggplant into 1/2 inch slices after trimming the ends, score the skin. Soak in cold water for ten minutes, and squeeze out the water gently. Saute the eggplant in vegetable oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup dashi, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1-2 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer ten minutes, serve with broth. I also like to ad some soba noodles, not traditional but yummy. Re: Dashi, if you make it from scratch, lucky you, but if not, dashida powder isn't ideal, but it works. This is really simple and yummy.
2. Korean Ka Ji Na Mool: Boil eggplant for 5 minutes in salted water until tender, drain well. Or steam for 10 minutes. Cut the eggplant into thin 1 cm strips about 3 inches long. For 1 lb of eggplant, season with 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, 1 garlic clove, minced, , black pepper to taste, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, chopped green onions (can adjust to taste). Very tasty.
Don't know what we are going to do for dinner tonight! So gross to walk outside!
I' m out of luck on number #one for ingredients but will tackle your number #2 suggestion- "Ka Ji Na Mool"-. I have raw sesame seeds. Is it as easy as toasting them in the oven? So ,I'll just add the soy. sesame oil, toasted sesm. seeds green onion and garlic to the steamed, 1 cm,3 inch strips?
Does this get tossed over rice or something else?
Sorry about the delay Fruglescot, we ended up braving the weather and went out to eat (it is brutal outside, but the good news is that there were so many cancellations that we were able to get a table on a Saturday night at a very popular local bistro, we even saw a very famous Quebecois actor!).
Raw sesame seeds can be toasted in a non-stick frying pan on the stovetop, over medium high heat for a few minutes until they get slightly brown and toasty. And yes, this is good with rice, it is traditionally one of the Korean Ban Chan (side dishes). Again, sorry for the delay, I hope it worked out!
I had never used/eaten Chinese Egg Plants until went into this Asian grocery store and they convinced me to buy some and I used it in a Pad Thai recipe, and it was pretty delicious! That's one way to go!
Here's my fave way to fix eggplant for a group.
1 tsp. minced ginger 1-1/2 T soy sauce
1 tsp. white vinegar 1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced fresh red chili pepper ½ c. pork, sliced into strips
½ to ¾ lb. eggplant, peeled and cut
into long strips
In a small bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, soy, sugar, vinegar, chili pepper and cornstarch. Set aside. Heat oil in frying pan or wok until hot. Fry eggplant until pulp is brown but not burnt. Place eggplant between paper towels and press lightly to extract oil. Add pork to pan and fry one minute until cooked. Remove pork and pour out oil. Heat sauce in pan until near boiling. Add eggplant and pork. Stir until all pieces are coated in sauce and heated through. Serves 2.