Do you remember the Steamed Eggplant dish from Hunan Chilli King ? Well apparently it's been on the Missus's mind. Because of work, and our just plain busy schedules, it doesn't seem like we'll be able to get to the SGV for a while. So the Missus
ordered requested that I try my hand at making the dish. It's really not that difficult, this is just your basic Chinese steamed fish dish, using eggplant instead of the fish. There are some nuances, but you'll spend most of your time waiting for the eggplant to finish steaming.
I made this twice over the past week, and what follows are mostly notes, and guidelines.
First off, I used four Japanese Eggplants, the main reason being I don't have a very large steamer, and I could arrange the eggplants in the shape of the plate. Making the first recipe, I added five whole cloves of garlic, one thumb size piece of ginger sliced into a thin julienne, and 2 tablespoons of fermented black bean that had been rinsed. I found that the ginger pretty much got lost in the whole steaming process. So making the second recipe, I placed the eggplant into the steamer with just the black bean and garlic. The garlic becomes soft and tender, and really tastes very sweet eaten whole.
So what of the ginger? I end up adding the ginger during the last ten minutes of steaming, along with 4 sliced serrano chilies. I tried adding the serranos at the end, but they tasted a bit too "green". The ten minutes of steam time softens them, and makes them sweeter. Those red chilies are added after steaming. I bought them frozen at Lucky Seafood..... they are pretty spicy.
The eggplant was first sliced in half lengthwise, than half again. They steam for about forty minutes.
While the eggplants are steaming, you can make the sauce. I start with a basic recipe of 1/4 cup superior or premium soy sauce to 1-1/2 tablespoon of white sugar. In this case, I did a double recipe. After mixing well to dissolve the sugar, I tasted and adjusted the sweetness. To finish, I drizzled in about 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil. Add the sauce to the eggplant during the end of the steaming process.
Meanwhile heat peanut oil until smoking. Bring the steamed eggplants to the table a pour the hot oil over the eggplant. You'll have some nice "sizzle-vision" going on.....
I noticed that the skin on the Japanese Eggplants are very soft and tender, the eggplant is creamy..... you'll need to good amount of rice as well.