Braised Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce
Eggplant is a standard ingredient in my house, it can be cooked in so many ways and essentially goes with everything. However I tend to always prep it the same way – pressed – and cook it one of two ways: stir fry or baked. I’ve branched out once before with poached eggplant and wanted to do that again, even it meant having pasta on hand just in case. So I searched the internet, and my cookbooks, and decided to give braised eggplant a whirl after seeing claims of a softer more flavorful dish. It’s closer to how eggplant is cooked in most Oriental restaurants and I liked the idea of the eggplant absorbing more sauce, and with that more flavor. This cooking method also meant I needed to salt my eggplant, instead of pressing it, to insure it was as “dry” as possible for maximum sauce.
3 Japanese (Ichiban) eggplant, roll cut
2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp ginger, diced
3 scallions, diced
4 shallots (green onions), diced - whites and greens
1 thai chili, chopped
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
- Salt the eggplant in a strainer and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile chop and prep the remaining vegetables.
- Heat the oil in a large flat bottom saute pan. Add the eggplant and cook for 7 minutes, or until eggplant is soft. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile puree the white parts of the shallots with the chili, soy sauce, and rice vinegar - forming a sticky paste.
- Add the paste to the eggplant along with the water. Stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes then add the green tips of the onions stir and Serve!