Call me crazy....it was pretty hot and humid today. I really didn't feel like going out of the house. So what did I do? I stir-fried. What the heck was I thinking?
Anyway, I used basically the same technique as my Spicy Chinese-style Eggplant, but went for more of a Thai inspired dish. In other words, totally lost for ideas, I found stuff around the kitchen and went for it.......
Two types of chilies and chili paste brings the heat. Palm sugar, white sugar, and the red bell peppers add sweet. Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce add the umami saltiness. Garlic and onions add depth of flavor. The kaffir lime leaves and cilantro give this a definite Southeast Asian touch. And the sour and tangy tamarind paste tops it off. I'm looking at this as a nice starting point and will add to the recipe in the future......
It turned out rather well. I actually measured stuff out initially as I made things. There are three acts to this play.....
Eggplant with Tamarind Sauce:
First the Tamarind Sauce:
4 Tb tamarind pulp or concentrate
2-3 Tb palm sugar
2 Tb premium soy sauce
3 Tb fish sauce
2 Tb sambal olek
- Combine all ingredients and let sit
Then prep everything you'll need for parts 1 & 2 below:
2-3 medium sized Chinese Eggplant cut into 1/3 inch dice
3 dried red chilies seeded
Dash of white pepper
2 Tb White sugar
2 Tb Shaoxing Wine
2-3 Tb premium soy sauce
3 Tb canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 large red bell pepper diced
1/2 medium onion diced
5 kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced
4-6 Thai Chilies Sliced
6 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tb canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
- In a hot wok heat first 3 tb of oil add dried chilies to scald
- Add eggplant, white pepper, and sugar, and stir fry
- Add Shaoxing and stir fry
- When eggplant starts to dry out, add soy sauce to moisten a tablespoon at a time
- When the eggplant has browned and is cooked through, remove to a plate and start Part2
- Allow wok to come back up to temperature and add oil
- Quickly add kaffir lime leaves and Thai Chilies, stir fry until fragrant, about 10-15 seconds
- Add red bell pepper and stir fry to coat and let soften slightly
- Add garlic and stir fry. Do not allow garlic to burn
- Add onion and stir fry
- Return eggplant back to wok and combine well.
- Add sauce, combine, bring up to temp, and remove from heat
- Add the chopped cilantro, saving a few tablespoons for garnish
Looks like a lot, but things go pretty quickly. In fact, I even made some chili-garlic shrimp as well. Didn't even use the Big Kahuna.
Interesting thing was.....that I felt a lot less sluggish after making this....dunno why....
So, did you cook at home today?