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7 Asian Eggplant Recipes

Asian recipes featuring various types of Asian eggplant

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An Old World vegetable with Asian origins, eggplant is thought to have been eaten both cooked and raw in China since at least the T'ang dynasty (Source: K.C.Chang, Food in Chinese Culture). Most of these recipes feature Chinese eggplant, a slender, thin-skinned purple variety that has a more delicate flavor than the large globe-shaped eggplants most often found in western supermarkets. One recipe calls for Thai Eggplant – these small, golf-ball sized eggplants normally have a greenish-white skin. Japanese eggplant works best in the Pan-fried Eggplant With Miso recipe, but you can substitute Chinese Eggplant if needed.

1. Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
Rhonda Parkinson
The delicate flavor of Asian eggplant goes nicely with the spices and seasonings in this popular Szechuan recipe. The sauce ingredients include chili garlic sauce and black rice vinegar. The recipe includes photos showing each step of the cooking process.

2. Spicy Szechuan Eggplant

Spicy Szechuan Eggplant
Rhonda Parkinson
A variation of the above recipe using red rice vinegar and hot bean sauce. Possible substitutions: you can substitute red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for the red rice vinegar, and replace the hot bean sauce with Tabasco sauce: start small with 1 teaspoon Tabasco and then add more as desired.

3. Hakka-style Eggplant With Mint

Eggplant is deep-fried and then stir-fried until tender in a sauce that includes oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, and the distinctive licorice flavor of Thai basil. The finished dish is garnished with mint leaves. This recipe comes from chef and cookbook author Martin Yan.

4. Seasoned Eggplant Side Dish (Gaji Namul)

This recipe, from About's Korean Food Guide Naomi Imatome-Yun, consists of strips of eggplant that are quickly steamed and then tossed with a variety of spices and seasonings, including sesame oil, roasted (toasted) sesame seeds, soy sauce and Korean Red Pepper Flakes. .

5. Pan-fried Eggplant With Miso

In this recipe from Setsuko Yoshizuka, eggplant is sweetened with miso, the thick paste featured in numerous Japanese dishes.

6. Cambodian Spicy Beef and Aubergine Stew (Samlaw Machou Kroeung)

This slow cooked dish comes from Dennis Sim, who says it is "not only spicy but also tangy and extremely fragrant." The stew features Kroeung, the basic Cambodian spice paste )(links showing how to make Kroeung and Tuk Trey Dipping Sauce are included in the recipe). Thai eggplant, a small round eggplant with green and white skin, is used in this recipe.

7. Grilled Eggplant

This recipe comes from About's Guide to Thai Food, who writes, "This simple eggplant recipe is easy to make on the barbecue or grill. Garlicky and tender, Thai-style eggplant makes a great side dish for any occasion. Thin slices of Chinese or Japanese eggplant are marinated in a delicious Thai sauce, then grilled to a golden hue. The marinade doubles as a sauce that can be added at the end, or as a dip while you eat (excellent with rice). If you like eggplant, try it grilled with this yummy Thai recipe!"

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