Asian eggplants look and taste quite different from regular eggplants. They are thinner and have a bright purple hue. They are also more tender and sweeter while still retaining that slight smokey flavor. The best part-they are easier to cook and you can eat the skin, which is where the phytonutrient-anthocyanins are stored. Eggplant also contains a lot of fiber and is a great source of vitamin B complex, which is important for brain function.
Asian eggplant by itself is a great summer vegetarian dish (as it is in season now). They are filling and can absorb a lot of different flavors. It is very versatile and can be added with many other vegetables and spices. Below is a fast and easy recipe I want to share with you on how to prepare a Thai-style Asian eggplant dish. The dish is vegan and gluten-free!
2 cups of arugula
1/2 whole ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Spicy chili pepper, cup into thin rings (optional)
5 basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp of coconut oil
gluten-free soy sauce (preferably tamari)
1 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of water
- Wash the eggplants and remove the stem. Use your hand to pull off the eggplant into a cube size. Using your hand rather than a knife helps to eliminate the hardness of the skin, making it easier to eat.
- Heat the wok with oil in medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and chili pepper into the wok and stir fry until it starts to turn brown. If you don’t have a wok, use a large sautee pan.
- Add the eggplant with peppercorn. Then add the soy sauce, and cover the wok for 1 minute.
- Once the eggplant starts to simmer, add the peppercorn, basil and sugar. Sautee for another minute. Add water if the wok gets too dry.
- Finally add the arugula and mix it for another 30 seconds before plating.