Saturday, February 2, 2008

Easy Eggplant Stirfry

I had some of the vegan hot and sour soup frozen from last week, and it was freezing when I came home tonight, so I decided to thaw out the soup for tonight's dinner. But, lazy bastid that I am, I hadn't been to the grocery yet. So what to make with the hot and sour soup?

As I was wandering through the grocery, a fat purple eggplant sang its evil siren song to me from the produce section. "Come to me, young(ish) lad. Marvel at my smooth skin. You know you want me..."

Now, eggplant and I have had a rocky sort of relationship. Occasionally, it is kind; mostly, it is a dastardly substance that defies all laws of cooking. It has defied me on more occasions than I care to recall, and I resisted its sultry call.

Then, I gave in.

Eggplant, thou art a cold master.


Anyway, since the eggplant had already claimed me as its bitch, I figured it was a good time to try out a stir fry with the wily stuff.

I'm happy to say that it turned out wonderfully... probably about as authentically Chinese as Taco Bell is authentically Mexican, but still excellent stuff.

So if you are ready to tango with the eggplant, I invite you to try my eggplant stirfry recipe. May the gods of nightshades smile as kindly upon you as they have smiled upon me this icy evening.

1 large eggplant
1 tsp olive oil or hot chili oil
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used the white ones, because shiitakes were just too danged expensive today)
1 6 oz can sliced bamboo shoots
1 bunch scallions
tamari or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 bottle Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce
1 cup white rice

Prepare white rice in a rice cooker or medium pot (if you don't have a rice cooker, my sympathies. I ruined many a rice based dish before I got my hands on one of these).
Slice eggplant in about 1" x 1/2" wedges. I cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half crossways in 1 inch sections (so I had about 10 half-moon shaped pieces an inch thick). I then cut each half moon into about four wedge shaped pieces. Heck, cut it however you want.

Place the eggplant pieces in a large skillet with the oil, and sprinkle liberally with tamari or soy sauce (tamari is better, but significantly more expensive). Let fry for about 6 minutes on medium heat.

Chop white parts of scallions, add with ginger and garlic to eggplant. Chop green parts of scallions and set aside. Let cook for about another 2 minutes, and then add sliced mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

After another 5 minutes, turn down the heat to low, and add the Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce and the chopped green scallions. Simmer on low for 2 minutes, then serve over cooked rice.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

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