I love cooking with eggplant. Today, I want to share of my completely irresistible “signature” dishes of eggplant. Hope you guys enjoy!
Ingredients (Serving 3)
- 2 medium size eggplants (about 500g)
- 300g pork (cut of your choice, recommended with medium high fat ratio)
- 100g apple snail meat (Optional, it is not poisonous and delicious in my opinion but if you are not used to eating seafood, simply leave it out, since it has distinct taste and smell, and sometimes weird reaction with your stomach. Warning: consume with caution)
- 200g firm tofu
- 2 medium size tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ bulb of onion
- 5 shiso leaves (Encouraged, it does create a distinct smell for this dish, but if you cannot find it, just take it easy. Both green and purple is acceptable.)
- Some spring onion for garnish (optional)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce (More or less to your own taste)
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder (Please take some time to look for these in Asian markets, it’s the specialty of this dish)
Step 1: Cut the pork into bite size. Marinate them with 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. grounded black pepper, ½ tbsp. sugar, and 1 tbsp. of fish sauce.
Marinate the apple snail meat with ½ tsp. of turmeric powder and ½ tsp. of salt.
Step 2: Cut the eggplant into bite size. Submerge them into light salty water to prevent them from being oxidized and browning up.
Step 3: Crush and chop the garlic finely. Slice onion into thin rings. Slice the tomatoes. Picture shows below.
Step 4: Slice tofu into cubes like this. Fried them in preheated pan with canola oil until both sides are golden. Get them out, and leave cool on the counter.
Step 5: Start cooking this dish by adding about 2 tbsp. of oil into a preheating pot of at least 2 liters. Add the prepared garlic and onion, stir constantly on medium high heat until they start to be aromatic, about 4 minutes.
Step 6: Add the marinated pork in, stir well for 2 minutes.
Step 7: Add the marinated snail meat, stir well for another minute.
Step 8: Strain the sliced eggplant. Put them all into the pot. At first, it will look like the pot is so full, like this. Give it some stir and then cover the pot with its lit. Keep the heat to medium high. Don’t worry, It won’t burn out. Raw eggplant is filled with water, by heating them up on high heat with lit covered, you are giving a chance for water to come out of the eggplant, reducing its volume visibly.
Here is my pot after 10 minutes. The volume decreases to sufficient level, and there is lots of stock water in the pot.
Step 9: Add the sliced tomatoes and fried tofu into the pot. Stir well but gently, you don’t want to smash the delicate soften eggplant in your pot right now. Now keep the lit away from the pot. Let it cooked on medium high heat and evaporate some of the stock water, for approximately 20 minutes.
Step 10: Now you can see that the water level in the pot has been reduced like in this picture, simply taste it and adjust the savor to your own taste. In my pot, I add 1 tsp. salt, 1tbsp. sugar, and 2 tbsp. fish sauce.
Step 11: Chop shiso leaves into very fine strip. Chop the scallion. Add them into the pot, and stir well. Take the pot off the heat.
Step 12: Scoop them onto a serving plate together with warm cooked rice.
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What about you? what is your favorite way to cook eggplant?