It’s remarkable how the most ubiquitous, seemly mundane ingredients can be utterly transformed with a fresh perspective. For example, eggplants show up in nearly every culture, every grocery store, and every cookbook. For the wide range of varieties available across the world, accompanied by the distinctive palate of flavors that each locale prefers, there’s truly an eggplant preparation for everyone. Despite the abundance of options, it seems we’re drawn back to the same recipes time and again, sticking to the familiar for the sake of simplicity. That was certainly the case for me, which is why the promise of an all-eggplant cooking class held both intrigue and skepticism. What new was there to learn about this staple vegetable that I naively presumed had already divulged its culinary secrets long ago?
The one way I would never have attempted to cook an eggplant turned out to be one of the most revolutionary. Believe it or not, steaming these burnished violet nightshades created one of the most superlative eggplant dishes to hit my plate in years. Previously ignorant to this dramatic metamorphosis, the idea of steamed eggplant sounded about as appealing as stewed gym socks. On the contrary, the softened and shredded fruit is downright silky, luxuriously caressing the tongue with unexpected richness.
Hailing from China, this unsung hero of eggplant cookery comes to life with an impossibly creamy glaze of toasted sesame, soy sauce, vinegar, and a gentle kick of heat. Such complex flavors seem to contradict the simple procedure, but that’s the true beauty of this secret formula. This radical departure from the standard menu was right there all along, hidden in plain sight
- 2 Chinese Eggplants, Halved Lengthwise
- 2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Light Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Black Vinegar
- 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
- 1 Teaspoon Palm Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Tahini
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Paste (Optional)
- 1 Thinly Sliced Scallion, to Garnish
- Steam the eggplants for 10 – 15 minutes, until very tender. Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl.
- Let the eggplants cool for a few minutes so that you can handle them comfortably, and then use your hands to tear them into long strips.
- Toss the eggplants with the sauce and top with scallion. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Chef Philip Gelb
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 410mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 4g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.