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Japanese Eggplant

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Those who know me also know that eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables. Unlike many people, including my other half, I absolutely adore this nature's creation. Eggplant (also aubergine) comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and today I experimented with different types of this fruit.
I found my inspiration in the past, as it sometimes happens. Once I had a set of postcards with Japanese recipes, we didn't use them, mostly because we couldn't get necessary ingredients, but there was one recipe of a dressing that we used a lot. In my preparation of eggplants this dressing recipe partially recurred to my memory, but was of course altered and improved.

What you need:  
3 different color medium eggplants
(dark purple, light purple, white)
Olive oil for frying
Coarse salt (optional)
3 tb sp low sodium soy sauce
1 tb sp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tb sp balsamic vinegar
1 t sp lemon juice
1 heaped t sp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tb sp vodka (Sake in Japanese recipe)

Slice eggplants diagonally in 1/3" thick ovals. Heat skillet on medium heat, add oil, not too much, since eggplant absorbs it like a sponge (please see my other eggplant recipe Summer Eggplant and Tomato"Sandwich" for a technique how to fry eggplant with not too much oil). Fry/saute eggplant slices, arrange them nicely on a serving dish, and put aside.
Mix all ingredients of the dressing and pour over eggplant slices making sure all pieces are reached. Let it stand 10 minutes, sprinkle with coarse salt if desired, and serve.

Among three types of eggplant the white variety shows as most tender and tasty, second comes light purple, and the most common dark purple took the third place.
The dressing is what makes this dish so attractive, and a splash of vodka gives it a special tinge.
If you don't have Braggs Liquid Aminos - do not worry, just substitute with soy sauce.
This dish can go as a stand-alone or combined with steamed rice or noodles. I tried it with rice - m-m-m...m-m-m...m-m-m...

I thought it would be my personal appetizer, but even Alex, who doesn't recognize eggplant as a consumable vegetable, confessed it was really good, and had a second and a third (!!!) helping.
By the way, eggplant contains some nicotine. Maybe that's why it makes me feel a little high... :)

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