Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful week. Isn't it wonderful that the temperature has finally decided to go up and hover above freezing for once? NO MORE SNOW OR ICE. The trees finally have little leaves and the grass has turned green. Spring has officially arrived...only about 2 months late, but it got here right?
Today's recipe inspiration came partly from the current book I am reading, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See. Set in nineteenth-century China in a remote Hunan county, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is an incredible journey into the lives of two young girls in China, and the mysteries of the inner (women's) realm including foot binding, Laotong relationships, secret Nu Shu women's writing, matchmakers and arranged marriages. Like I said, very interesting. If you're looking for a good read to the kick off of summer, this is a great choice.
Enough for now about good books. (On a side note - I love recommendations. If you have any to share, leave me a comment). What I'm getting at is that with all of my reading about Chinese culture, I wanted to find a recipe to infuse some Asian cuisine into my dinner routine. Enter oriental eggplant. This can sometimes be called Chinese eggplant or Japanese eggplant. It has a shape similar to cucumber or zucchini, and is slightly easier to work with than the regular eggplant variety that can sometimes lean towards monstrous in size. HOWEVER, if you can't find oriental eggplant, regular eggplant works just fine, you'll just need to cut it into smaller pieces.
Step one: Gather the ingredients. Make the sauce.
Step two: Heat the oil over high heat in the wok. Add the onion and eggplant. Allow to sear, then stir with a wooden spatula or spoon occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Add half of the sauce stirring to coat. Add more sauce as needed.
T and I enjoyed this eggplant dish with a delicious ginger-garlic marinated flank steak hot off the grill. Lucky for us, our local grocery store has some great pre-marinated meats to choose from for grilling. You could also stir fry some chicken or beef and serve with rice to make a complete meal.
|Recipe from True Food cookbook|
STIR-FRIED EGGPLANT WITH TURMERIC-SOY SAUCE | Yield: 4-6 Servings | Total Time: 10 minutes
4 cups oriental eggplant, sliced on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2-3 eggplants)*
1 1/2 C onion, thinly sliced (1 onion)
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp olive oil
1-2 scallions, thinly sliced (for serving)
*NOTE: Oriental eggplant may also be called Japanese or Chinese eggplant. They are long and skinny vs short and fat like the traditional American eggplant. The tastes are similar if you are unable to find the oriental variety. You'll just need to cut them into smaller pieces, and cook them a little longer since the oriental variety has a thinner skin and cooks more quickly.
Whisk together soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat wok or skillet over high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add eggplants and onion. Allow them to sear, then toss using a wooden spatula for 3-5 minutes. Add half of the turmeric-soy sauce, then more if the eggplant is too dry. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with scallions to serve.
Are you ever inspired in the kitchen by a book you've read?