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!
- 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
- Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes.
- Pat dry with a paper towel, add a small amount of salt to both sides of the eggplant cubes and pat dry again.
- Add half of the canola oil into a large pan or wok. Heat and add the chunks of eggplant.
- Turn the heat to low and cover for about 8 minutes until browned.
- Grate the ginger, chop the garlic and grind the pepper corns into a small bowl to form a mixture.
- Flip the eggplant and add the rest of the canola oil. Cook for 8 more minutes.
- Once the eggplant is cooked through, uncover and add the mixture. Stir occasionally as you prepare the sauce.
- 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.
- Add the sauce to the eggplant and cook for a couple minutes over medium-low heat.
- 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