Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spicy Baby Thai Green Eggplant with Basil

Every Sunday Nate and I make our way to a bustling side street only a mile away and fill our bags to our heart's content with local, seasonal, exceptionally fresh produce from dozens of farm stands. And sure enough, every week there seems to be some new ingredient that beckons to us. This week, it was baby Thai green eggplants. 
Thai baby green eggplant

I had already started scooping them out of their crate when I hear a woman asking what they were (I had absolutely no idea, but they were pretty so into my bag they went). "Thai Eggplant," came the reply. "Eat raw like an apple, or cook it." I tried a tiny piece raw — the flavor is reminiscent of green beans, but they are rather starchy and full of little brown seeds. I decided to stir fry them with some of the fragrant, spicy Thai basil I had purchased earlier, as well as some Ishtar zucchini. I'm happy to say, the result was delish!

Spicy Baby Thai Green Eggplant with Basil
(Scroll past photos for full recipe. Recipe adapted from here and here)


Cut tops off of eggplants.
thai baby green eggplant

If any of the bottoms are split or brown, cut those off too.
Thai baby green eggplant
Do not want.
Cut into quarters.

Cut Ishtar zucchini into half moons or quarters.

Mince garlic, and set aside.

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in pan over medium heat till hot, then add eggplant. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
 Cook 3-4 minute or til browned on one side, then flip. 
Add zucchini to pan.
Cook 5 more minutes, stirring once. The key is to make sure the zucchini and eggplant are browned, but not burned. 
Add 1/2 - 1 TBSP sugar...

Then add garlic and 1 TBSP Sambal (or chopped Thai bird chilies, or chili paste of your choice.)

Stir to combine. 

The smell of sambal and garlic cooking together is HEAVEN. 
Cook 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn garlic.
Add 1/4 cup white wine or other cooking liquid and cover. Cook 2 minutes or until eggplant is very tender. 
Remove cover. Raise heat and cook until liquid is evaporated and vegetables are crispy on the edges.
My good camera died and I had to use my old one for the last pics!
Add 2 TBSP fish sauce or soy sauce. I HATE the flavor of fish, but fish sauce is not fishy tasting at all once you cook it (BEWARE — it smells BEYOND foul before it is cooked). It lends a salty, savory, slightly sour flavor to the dish that is delightful. 

Remove pan from heat and stir in a handful of chopped fresh Thai basil, until basil wilts. 

Remove from heat and serve. I recommend garnishing with lime wedges. Just a squeeze of the zesty lime juice brings out all of the great flavors in the dish!

Full Recipe
Spicy Baby Thai Green Eggplant with Basil
10 Baby Thai Green Eggplant, quartered, tops removed.
1 Ishtar zucchini, cut into half moons
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP Sambal OR chopped chilies OR chili paste of your choice
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP fish sauce
1 handful chopped Thai basil.
2 TBSP olive oil

Heat 2 TBSP oil over medium heat. Add eggplant and salt. Cook 3-4 minutes or until browned on one side; flip. Add zucchini to pan. 

Cook 5 more minutes, stirring once. The key is to make sure the zucchini and eggplant are browned, but not burned. 

Add 1/2 - 1 TBSP, garlic, and Sambal. Stir to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn garlic.
Add 1/4 cup white wine or other cooking liquid and cover. Cook 2 minutes or until eggplant is very tender. 
Remove cover. Raise heat and cook until liquid is evaporated and vegetables are crispy on the edges.

Add 2 TBSP fish sauce or soy sauce, cooking 1 more minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in a handful of chopped fresh Thai basil, until basil wilts. 

Serve with lime wedges. 


1 comment:

  1. I tried this recipe with the green eggplants from the garden, and it was excellent! Just the right amount of heat and the flavor was great! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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