Monday, July 13, 2009

Thai Basil Eggplant

Basil eggplant is a simple dish to make. The basil and chili pepper, however, turn the mundane eggplant into something exciting. It can also be made without peppers for kids. In Thailand, the eggplants are green and long and unlike the big dark purplish eggplants that you can find in supermarkets here in the US. Purple Japanese eggplant is used in the pictures here, but any eggplant ie. American or Japanese can be used in this recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked from the stem
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 6-8 Thai eggplants
  • 2 chili peppers

Slice the eggplants into irregular shapes for easy turning in the pan. When it is sliced into a small disk, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and makes it difficult to flip or turn. Chop garlic and slice chili peppers. Pick the leaves from the stem of the Thai basil. Heat a pan or wok over high or medium high. Add oil, chili peppers and garlic. Stir until the garlic turn golden brown. Add eggplant and stir. Add a cup of water and cover the pan or wok with a lid. Keep the lid close until the eggplant is cooked. It should take about 5-7 minutes before the eggplant is done. The eggplant turns from white to translucent when it is done. Almost all of the water should have been evaporated at this point. If the eggplant is still not cooked, add a little bit more water and keep lid closed until the eggplant is ready. Add fish sauce and sugar and stir. Add Thai basil and quickly stir to heat the basil, so that it retains it color. Turn off heat immediately. Serve hot with rice.

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