The eggplant has a story to tell, and it is one rarely heard. The eggplant is a vegetable of power, prestige and beauty. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors. Even if all you have is the standard purple Italian or American eggplant that you will find in most mainstream markets, you can create completely different meals with them that may appeal to the more adventurous side of your taste buds. Eggplants mesh so well with a variety of flavors, so it’s hard to go wrong. A quick and easy stir fry type meal is one of the easiest ways to cook eggplant. Just chop, toss them in a pan, and you’re just about half way to a good meal. Take a look at a how one eggplant can be made in two different ways for two meals. Or a few more if you have leftovers!
Both eggplants in this dish are of the American variety, although you are definitely able to experiment with others. Indian, Japanese and Chinese eggplants have a mild, sweet flavor that would pair well with oyster sauce. Thai eggplants have a slightly bitter flavor, but work very well in curry dishes. Unlike most other eggplants, it is recommended to remove the seeds from Thai eggplants as most people do not enjoy them. The fun of working with new dishes and ingredients is the experimentation aspect of it all. You figure out what you like, and that becomes your new go to dish. Hopefully you’ll feel that way about eggplants too!
Eggplant with Oyster Sauce – Serves 4 to 6
2 large eggplants, cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1. In a large bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together, except the eggplant. Once combined, stir in the eggplant.
2. Swirl a bit of grapeseed oil in a large, shallow pan over medium high heat. When hot, pour in the eggplant along with the marinade. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes or until eggplant is soft.
Curry Eggplant and Peanuts – Serves 4 to 6
2 large eggplants, cubed
1 cup raw peanut halves, toasted
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Swirl a bit of grapeseed oil and the sesame oil in a large, shallow pan. Add eggplants, along with the sauce, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until eggplant is soft. Salt to taste.
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