Eggplants come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes but my favorite is the Chinese eggplant. It is long and slender with a deep purple color. The skin is thinner and the flesh more tender as compared to some of the rounder varieties.
Eggplants are like sponges capable of absorbing a large amount of oil when fried. Roasting or steaming them are healthier alternatives. My mom roasts them whole over charcoal fire. Once roasted, the skin is removed and the flesh cut into bite sized pieces. For steaming, she usually peels and cuts them into pieces before placing them on the steaming rack. Cooked eggplants from both methods are then dressed with soy sauce and garlic oil. Sometimes a little sambal (chili condiment) is added to the mix.
This Steamed Eggplants recipe is a slight adaptation of my Mom’s recipe. I added a little mirin (Japanese cooking wine) to the dressing to give it a slightly sweet flavor. It is simple yet tasty and can be prepared in 20 minutes. It is also an excellent vegetarian option and is delicious served with rice.
- 1 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 2 medium sized Chinese eggplants
- 1 green onion, finely sliced
- Dried bonito shavings, shichimi togarashi, sesame seeds (optional)
Place minced garlic, canola oil, and sesame oil in a small microwave proof dish and microwave for 1½ minutes on high. Remove and add soy sauce and mirin. Stir to combine.
Peel eggplant with a vegetable peeler. Cut into quarters lengthwise. Then cut into 2-inch pieces.
Place eggplants on a steaming rack and steam for 10 minutes. Remove and drain.
Pour oil and sauce mixture over eggplants. Garnish with spring onions and optional toppings (if using).
This Steamed Eggplants dish is a favorite of the family. I cook it often to go with our regular rice meals. It is light, healthy, and delicious. Do give it a try.
NOTE: This post was updated on August 26th, 2013 with new pictures.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!