Spicy Eggplant

Often when I’m having a bland meal I crave a flavorful side dish. This eggplant has a medium heat content and some sweet and salty flavor. The dish has lots of room for improvisation. If you don’t have one of the ingredients, look up a substitute or leave it out. Before plating, taste the dish and determine if you need to add anything. If it is too concentrated, add a little bit of water. This simple dish is great as a side and perfect for leftovers you will look forward to! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small eggplants
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp ground szechuan peppercorn
  • ¾  tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½  tsp cornstarch 

PREPARATION

  1. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Pat dry with a paper towel, add a small amount of salt to both sides of the eggplant cubes and pat dry again. 
  3. Add half of the canola oil into a large pan or wok. Heat and add the chunks of eggplant.
  4. Turn the heat to low and cover for about 8 minutes until browned. 
  5. Grate the ginger, chop the garlic and grind the pepper corns into a small bowl to form a mixture. 
  6. Flip the eggplant and add the rest of the canola oil. Cook for 8 more minutes.
  7. Once the eggplant is cooked through, uncover and add the mixture. Stir occasionally as you prepare the sauce.
  8. Add the gochujang, miso, soy sauce, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, mirin and water into a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add the cornstarch and mix until there are no clumps.
  9. Add the sauce to the eggplant and cook for a couple minutes over medium-low heat.
  10. Once the sauce is completely cooked through and mixed in with the eggplant, plate onto a bed of rice or serve alone as a side dish. 

Yields approximately 3 servings

Miriam Akhmetshin ‘22