Chinese Eggplant: Lucky Me!

I discovered three Chinese eggplant at the grocery store.  It was nice to see them there along side the regular eggplant.  I’ve never noticed Chinese eggplant in the produce section, so to see them was a delight and I knew exactly what recipe to make with them the moment I picked them up.

Chinese eggplant are a lovely light purple colour and are long and slender.  There is an awesome Japanese restaurant dish that I’ve seen on a few menus that make use of these eggplant.  Each restaurant has their own variation of it, but essentially its a called “miso glazed eggplant.”  There are a number of different ways to make this, and you can find many recipes for it on the internet.  I was going to make a variation of this because I just wanted to recapture the flavour that I enjoy so much.  It’s like a sweet/salty/sour glaze that’s baked on the eggplant.  It’s really good.

Here’s the idea…

In Asian cooking, the 4 basic tastes are often included in a dish or in a meal: salty, sweet, sour and bitter.  I often think of a fifth flavour when it comes to Asian cooking: spicy.  This recipe has a little of each in it.

Slice the Eggplant lengthwise.  Eggplants tend to have a slightly bitter flavour component.  I didn’t salt the eggplant prior to cooking it, as many eggplant dishes call for, but this could be done if time allowed.

I didn’t have miso, so I used 2 table spoons of Bragg’s pure soy sauce (salty).  To that I added the juice of half a lemon (sour).  Then I added 1 tablespoon of each: honey (sweet), tomato paste and fresh grated ginger (spicy).  Finally I threw in one clove of grated garlic.

I whisked this together and topped the eggplant halves with it.

I put the eggplant in a baking dish with a little bit of water on the bottom, just enough to cover the pan, to prevent the eggplant from sticking.  I baked it for 20 minutes at 350 F, until the eggplant was really tender.

This made a tender cooked eggplant with a zesty glaze.  Delish!

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