Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eggplant Salad (涼拌茄子)

It's been a while since I cooked but it doesn't mean I have forgotten how :)  Yesterday I went to the nearby wholesale market and bought some eggplants at a ridiculously cheap price (5 for HKD8!!!) I grabbed a bunch of cilantro and green onions (HKD3) and I know I have my meals covered until at least tomorrow evening!!! (that's 4-5 meals right there!)

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Long, long ago, my brother refused to eat eggplants as eggplants are commonly known as the "short gourd" (矮瓜) in the Guangdong area.  I laughed so hard when he said eggplants make you short!  (矮瓜矮瓜, 越食越矮).  Of course eating eggplants won't make you short.  In fact, it's one of the very few produce that is naturally purple and very nutritious!  It's one of my favorite vegetables!

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How to pick a good eggplant?
Good eggplants are skinny and soft when you lightly shake them.
The green top should be tightly attached to the eggplant.

People often have the misconception that in order to make delicious eggplants, you need to use a lot of oil!  Today I will share with you how I cooked my eggplants, using only 3-4 teaspoons of oil altogether, in less than 30 minutes.  Again, it's fool-proof.

Ingredients:

2 small Chinese eggplants
4 cloves of garlic, mashed  (I love garlic but you can reduce the amount of garlic used, or omit it altogether)
Salt
Oyster sauce
Finely diced cilantro and green onions
Cooking oil
Sesame oil

Directions:

1. Insert a chopstick into the eggplant and roast it on open fire over your stove.  If you have electric stove, I guess you can grill them on the surface.  We will discard the skin anyways.

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Opps!
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2.  Once the skin is all wrinkled and charred, put the eggplant in cold water and remove the skin.  The skin should come off easily.  It should take around 5 minutes.

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3.  On a serving plate, separate the eggplants into quarter inch sections, following the natural texture of the eggplants.  Marinate it with just a tad bit of salt.

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4.  Add oyster sauce over the eggplants, maybe 1-2 tablespoon.

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5.  Heat an equal amount of oil based on the amount of cilantro and green onions you chopped.  I also added some sesame oil into my oil to add aroma.  This is optional.  When the oil is about 70% hot, pour it over the chopped cilantro and green onions.

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6.  Add the mashed the garlic cloves over your eggplants and add a few spoonful of the cilantro and green onions oil over.

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7.  Mix well and serve.

So easy, so simple, and so healthy!

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