Long, tender chunks of Asian eggplant are absolutely delightful when steamed through. Their flesh cooks to a custardlike softness, without absorbing too much oil like they do when cooked in a pan. This is a typical Taiwanese preparation that’s not for those averse to strong flavor: lots of fresh garlic and mildly hot fresh red chilies are sprinkled liberally on the steamed eggplant as an attractive and very tasty garnish.
Makes about 2 servings
2 long slender Asian eggplants, about 1 pound
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 to 6 small fresh red chilies, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
Prepare a large bamboo steamer with boiling water underneath.
Trim the ends from the eggplant and cut into halves lengthwise. Sprinkle with the salt and arrange in the steamer. Cover the steamer and let cook until the eggplants feel soft to the touch all around, 8 to 10 minutes. Arrange the eggplant skin-side down on a serving dish. Sprinkle the garlic and chilies over each piece followed by a drizzle of the soy sauce, and serve immediately.
Recipes and photography from THE FOOD OF TAIWAN by Cathy Erway. Copyright © 2015 by Cathy Erway. Photographs by Pete Lee, 2015. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.