Thursday, January 29, 2009

The secret lives of .. eggplants

This is my mommy's recipe- I think it's meant to imitate "Yu-Hsiang Eggplant" (which translates into fishy smelling eggplant...weird.
Anyways, this version is completely vegan/vegetarian friendly, and tastes delicious or so I'm told. Anyways, this is it's long awaited recipe release.. drumroll!!!

Meipo's Chinese Eggplant
Pre chop these ingredients:
  • 3-4 Japanese eggplant ( I used 4 in this retelling, but you can also use 1 large "white people's" eggplant, heheh, but it's inferior, shhh) Look at below pictures at how I cut my eggplant, it's hard to describe, but it's really helpful in making sure your eggplant cooks through. Also feel free to alter this recipe for less eggplants- everything should be proportional.
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 3-4 scallions, diced (optional, for color)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced/diced (not optional!!!, i love garlic, it makes this dish)
This is how you cook those veggies:
Put this into the pan in order:
  • 1/3 C veggie oil (so I cheat and use random measuring cups, this may be accurate only to dry goods... but trust your intuition, this dish calls for quite a lot of oil- if the eggplant looks thirsty, it's calling out for oil, I added maybe 1/6 C extra adding it during the entire cooking process)
  • toss in garlic, let it really simmer and release all its garlicy goodness
  • add the veggies
  • 1/6 C soy sauce (to taste, but remember it's this and the oil that's hydrating your thirsty eggplant, so let it drink up! Sometimes, I feel health concious and substitute some water in for either one, so feel free to do that too)
  • 3/8 C sugar (ok, so I usually add 1/4 C and then add more to taste)
  • 1 tsp of salt (to taste)
  • all this just sits and gets tossed together for 20-30 minutes of HIGH HEAT stirfrying!!!

NOW TIME FOR SOME AWESOME PHOTODOCUMENTATION!!!, are you excited? this is my first time food blogging- get ready!

The veggies- bell pepper/scallion/garlic/japanese eggplant. Note the diagnoal tapered cuts of eggplant. I kinda cut them spiraling out from the eggplant so that the tip of the eggplant remaining is a sharp tip until I use the whole egg plant up. If this is confusing, I will teach you in person. maybe.
You poured in that yummy yummy oil (yes it will look like a lot), and once that oil heats up, toss in your copious heaps of garlic.

We have this phrase in chinese called "bao xiang". It means to let your garlic burst in the oil until you smell the flavor. This is how it should look like. And it should smell heavenly.
I tossed in the red bell pepper and scallion. Not necessary, but doesn't it look so pretty? :)
btw- giant eagle will rip you off for bell pepper ( I once spent $5 on ONE)- i got these at lotus market (less than $1.00 total), sooo cheap!
Eggplant suicide for delicious cause

You must be thinking what I'm thinking. the eggplant still looks kinda parched even though its bathing in a nice coat of veggie oil. So you'll add the soy sauce, sugar, salt now.ACTION SHOT!!

I basically let it sit in high heat, stirring it around every 2-3 minutes or so, until the eggplant is super soft. (20-30 mins). Here's how it should look. You can def add more of oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt at this point- everyone's taste is different.
The eggplant should look like this up close (MACRO!!), the membranes are totally mushy and soft, delish. If your eggplant doesn't look like this? Your eggplant is probably still thirsty, it wants more oil (also gets the heat nice and high to soften the egg plant), feed it!
Another macro shot. Don't be afraid, when you serve this a layer of oil will kinda settle to the bottom. But it will be so delicious no one will care.


love, JKL


too ku for you said...


zOMG... i can't wait to try this on my own and mess it up. haha then i'll just have to go over to your place and eat your eggplants. hahahahaha

<3 ku

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