California's Asian immigrants have introduced a vast repertoire of savory dishes made with the long, slender Chinese and Japanese eggplants. Here, ingredients from the Asian pantry—fish sauce, oyster sauce, pepper flakes, and sesame oil—turn mild-tasting roasted eggplant into an irresistible, tongue-tingling dish. Serve with pork or fish.
2 lb. (1 kg) Asian (slender) eggplants (aubergines)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
Scant 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup (1/2 oz/15 g) chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Prick the eggplants in several places with a fork to allow steam to escape. Place on a baking sheet and bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and slit the eggplant skins lengthwise with a knife to speed cooling. When cool, use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin in long, thick shreds. It's okay if some of the skin sticks to the flesh.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar, whisking until the sugar dissolves.
3. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the peanut oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook stirring, for about 1 minute to release the flavor of the aromatics. Add the shredded eggplant and cook stirring, for 1 minute. Add the oyster sauce mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes to blend the flavors.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and sesame oil. Let the eggplant cool in the pan.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories 209 (Kilojoules 878); Protein 5 g; Carbohydrates 20 g; Total Fat 13 g; Saturated Fat 2 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 921 mg; Dietary Fiber 3 g.
New American Cooking Series
Time Life Books, 2000
Color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created July 2000
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