Oliver is crazy about eggplant. He loves it pretty much no matter how you slice it, which is thankful because I've never been very inspired by the ingredient, unsure of how to get a perfectly buttery texture on the inside and golden caramelize crust on the outside. Eggplant is not a forgiving vegetable.
Despite my lack of inspiration eggplant shows up in our fridge a lot: Oliver buys it, or sneaks it into our basket, and there they sit, in the fridge, waiting for me to make curry (literally the only way I cooked it for most of my life). I'm beyond happy to order the stuff in a restaurant, where they have perfected the craft of eggplant, but for some time I've left it at that.
Finally one day I had a revelation--one I should've had a long time ago. I could learn to cook with eggplant.
So I started researching eggplant recipes with a vengeance, and guys, I got really excited. About eggplant. Really.
In all of my excitement I headed to the store, ready to buy more eggplant than I've ever bought at one time before. But then! How could it be possible? The store was sold out.
I was back with in two days--this eggplant mission had to happen.
Serves: 4 | Total Time:
- 2 medium eggplants (Chinese eggplants are particularly good)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon corn starch OR arrowroot powder
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Optional: 1 tablespoon Sriracha or Red chili flakes
- Slice the eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Toss eggplant with corn starch or arrowroot powder.
- Dice the red pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil glistens, add the eggplant and red pepper. Sauté until browned on all sides.
- In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, and sesame oil. Pour mixture into skillet and stir. Place lid on skillet and continue to cook until eggplant is cooked through. Stir occasionally.
- Serve: Remove from heat and use a spatula to divide into serving bowls. Top with Sriracha or hot chili flakes.