Monday, August 4, 2008

Asian Style Eggplant

My future father-in-law gave me a whole bunch of eggplants from his garden, so I guess I'll be having them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 5 days. What to do, what to do? Well, I thought back to the best eggplant I have ever was at Tsukushi, a real Japanese gem in midtown NY. I'll write a review on the restaurant some day.

I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to cooking, but I'm intimidated by eggplant. Eggplants are watery and even soak up extra moisture like a sponge (I hate greasy soggy fried eggplant). On top of that, large eggplants can be bitter and rubbery if not prepared correctly (I speak from experience). But that didn't stop me from making my version of eggplant inspired by Tsukushi. Let's call this invention of mine Asian Style Marinated Eggplant. This is good as a side dish or with some greens for a light summer salad.

The first time I made Asian Style Marinated Eggplant, I tossed together whatever that was Japanese I had in the pantry:
mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine for cooking)
rice vinegar
soy sauce
sesame seed oil
black pepper

I didn't have Japanese ingredients this time, so I made a Chinese version by mixing together:
Chinese rice cooking wine
distilled white vinegar
soy sauce
sesame seed oil
black pepper

In general, you just need some salt, acid and sugar. I didn't measure...I just mixed the ingredients in to taste. Then I sliced an eggplant about a third of an inch thick and made sure each side was covered by the sauce (make sure to save some sauce for later).
I popped the eggplant slices in the oven (or grill) until they were done, making sure to flip them over once. When they were done, I drizzled some sauce over them. Yum yum!

No comments: