I was talking to my mother in law today about cooking eggplant...We went out to lunch and among all the goodies we ordered was a braised eggplant-sooo yummy!!! I've never eaten eggplant growing up but enjoy it great deal in the past few years. I generally serve it grilled, in a salad or in Moussaka (traditional eggplant-based dish that comes out of the Mediterranean, made with eggplant, ground meat and tomatoes, onions and some kind of pepper) but have never braised it. I feel a little intimidated when it comes to asian dishes, it just seems so complicated when you looking at the recipe. Those of you who know me, know that I do not shy away from the challenge and since there is no time like a present, I decided to make my own version of braised eggplant in garlic sauce... The outcome was delicious!! It was a bit spicy but I think it gives the eggplant a little zip, which is needed.
4 Asian eggplants or 1 large regular eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
2 tsp seasame oil
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp chili paste
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbps minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 green onions (including tops) thinly sliced
2 tsp cornstarch disolved in water
4 tsp water
Slivered green onion for garnish
Peel the eggplant and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in a medium bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss gently to mix. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Drain and rinse the eggplant and squeeze it dry. Place a wok or wide frying pan over high heat until hot. Add the vegetable oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the eggplant, green onions, mix well. Add the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and braise until the eggplant is tender and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens. Garnish with slivered green onions.