I do love eggplants, either raw or cook. Back then while I was in my home country, I used to dip my raw terong gelatik putih (English: thai eggplants) into sambal terasi (dried shrimp paste and chili sambal) or roasted the terong ungu (Japanese/Chinese eggplants) and ate them with sambal terasi and warmed rice or steamed them and served with spicy coconut milk what we call “Pecel Terong Surabaya“. Ahhhh I forgot to mention another kind of eggplant that I used to have, we call that eggplant as rimbang or tekokak in English is known as tiny eggplants, which the Sumatrans love to add them in their gulai.
It’s different with my husband, he loves cooked eggplants, but he does love other raw vegetables. One time, he told me a story on how he knew eggplants for the first time. When he was young, he went to try an eggplant dish at a Italian restaurant. He didn’t like it until he tried another eggplant dish at a Chinese restaurant. He fell in love and until now, every time we go to the Chinese restaurants eggplants will be the first pick 🙂
A week ago, we went to Huang Pu River, a Chinese restaurant on Pembina Highway. We usually ordered Eggplants Casserole or Szechuan Eggplants. That restaurant offer two kind of eggplants dishes. One is the Cantonese style and another one is the Szechuan style. The Cantonese was cooked with salty fish and the Szechuan is the spicy choice. As I grew up with salty fish and I love salty fish, I was scared that he would not like salty fish, I told him to pick the Szechuan one. He said, “I think I want to try the salty fish, let me pick the Cantonese one.”
The orders came and he tried the eggplants dish, he said, “I like the salty fish.” I just smiled and felt glad that he likes it.
I bought eggplants couple days ago and since he loves cooked eggplants and I still hadn’t used my hot bean sauce in the pantry. I tried to make Szechuan Eggplants, got the recipe from the internet. This recipe is slightly different from the internet’s recipes. I used kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) instead of combining soy sauce and sugar.
Some people saute or bake the eggplants with a small amount of oil or deep fry to make them softer before they combine and cook with other ingredients. I myself sauted them with water.
4 Japanese/Chinese eggplants
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp hot bean sauce
1 tbsp kecap manis “Bango” brand (Indonesian sweet soy sauce “Bango” brand)
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup stock (I used shrimp stock from Knorr)
2 green onions, finely sliced
2 tsp sesame oil
sesame seed for garnish
1 tsp corn starch dissolves in 2 tsp water
- Cut eggplant smaller pieces as desired.
- Saute with some water in a non-stick pan/wok, until soft. When soft, remove from pan.
- In a pan, at low heat, cook garlic, ginger, and hot bean sauce for a minute
- Add kecap manis, soy sauce and stock/water.
- Return eggplant to the pan and cook for about five minutes until garlic is soft and a sauce forms.
- If you like thicker sauce, you can add the corn starch mixture.