easy chinese steamed eggplant (aubergine)
After the duck nigiri sushi, I need to make something simple last night. This steamed eggplant has been on my to-cook list for a long time. It is extremely easy to prepare. The minimum ingredients you will need will be cooking oil, soy sauce and an eggplant. This is a dish I learnt from my mom and I could not believe such a simple dish can be so delicious that makes you want more. It is perfect for a meatless meal. No kidding, I only prepared this veggie dish and ate with steamed rice but feeling completely satisfied without craving for meat! My mom only used those 3 ingredients described above and I have added a few more simple seasonings to give the dish a kick and it worked really well.
- 1 medium sized eggplant
- 3 cloves garlic, cut into slices
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- pinches of Japanese 7 spices (Shichimi tōgarashi, Japanese: 七味唐辛子, “seven flavor chili pepper”) (Optional)
- few sprigs coriander or spring onion, washed and coarsely shopped (optional)
- light soy sauce
- ground sesame seeds
- Prepare the garlic and coriander as described above and set aside.
- Peel and wash the eggplant, cut into long strips about 1.5 cm thick and immediately soak in a large bowl of salted water, this can prevent the eggplants getting darkened.
- If you are going to serve this with steamed rice, cook the rice in your normal way, when the rice starts boiling, place the eggplants on top of the rice and let it steam until the rice is cooked.
- Alternatively, you can also steam them using a steamer for 5-6 mins.
- While steaming, prepare the hot garlic oil, pour the cooking oil into a saucepan and heat it up at high heat, when it is hot enough, put the garlic slices into the oil gently, turn the heat down to medium high and let them fry until the garlic turns brown. When this is done, remove the garlic from the oil and turn the heat off.
- At this time, the eggplant should be ready, remove the eggplant from the rice cooker or steamer and place the strips of eggplant onto a serving plate.
- Place the coriander/ spring onion on top of the eggplant and pour the hot garlic oil on it.
- Add some light soy sauce and drizzle a little sesame oil as seasoning and finally sprinkle some ground sesame seeds and pitches of Japanese 7 spices.
- Serve immediately when hot with steamed rice.
- Instead of sesame seeds and 7 spices, if you have some Fried shallots at home, you can use that as an alternative.