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Posts Tagged ‘chinese eggplant’

When I went up to Sun Wah B.B.Q. for dinner the other night I took advantage of it being close to the Golden Pacific Market. I love that place, but hardly ever get up there since it’s so far away. I brought my cooler with me and loaded up on some goodies. A good portion of those goodies ended up in my Meatless Monday last night. In fact, I got the fried tofu specifically for it. I luz me sum fried tofu!

Before making the Thai Curry I put together some Thai flavored samosas. I had two red creamer potatoes and got a yukon gold (out of red creamers) that I skinned and diced, a lime that I zested and juiced half of, some egg roll wrappers (you can find samosa wrappers at some grocers or cut down some phylo, but I wanted smaller samosas so I cut some egg roll wrappers in half), 5 tablespoons of coconut milk (first thing I did was scoop the cream that settles on the top off and reserve that for the curry), 1 tablespoon of minced ginger, and one small shallot diced. What I forgot to get in the photo was about 1/4 cup of frozen peas that I thawed.

The first thing I did was boil the diced potatoes for about 15 minutes. Then I drained them while I heated up my pan and poured about 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in. I cooked the ginger and shallot over medium heat for about 4 minutes, just until they softened. Then I dropped the potatoes in along with the peas and coconut milk. I lightly mashed that all together with the back of a wooden spoon. I seasoned with salt and pepper and dumped in the lime zest and juice. I stirred that all together and let it cool, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Once the potato mixture was cool enough to handle I wrapped them up. I placed a spoonful at one end and proceeded to fold it up like a flag, leaving a little flap at the end.

I brushed the little flap with some peanut oil so it would seal together.

I lightly oiled a baking sheet with peanut oil and brushed the samosas all over with more peanut oil. They went into a 425 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, just until they became a nice golden brown color.

While the samosas were baking I put together the curry. In the red bowl is the coconut cream from the can of coconut milk (this not only is used for flavor, but I used it as my oil so there was no need for additional oil), 8 green onions chopped, 1 chinese eggplant chopped, 1 red bell pepper chopped, 1 large shallot minced, 2 tablespoons of ginger minced, the other half of my lime juiced, 3/4 cup of vegetable broth, 4 oz shiitake quartered, 1 package of fried tofu diced, 1 tablespoon of Thai Red Curry Paste, 5 baby bok choy, and two stalks of lemongrass finely chopped.

In my hot pan I added the coconut cream. About a minute later, once it started to lightly bubble, I added the curry paste (along with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce that didn’t make it into the photo) and mixed it all together to make a smooth cream. I added the shallot, lemongrass, and ginger to that and let them cook for about 2 minutes before adding the pepper, eggplant, shiitake, and green onions. Once all of the vegetables were coated with the thick sauce I let it all cook for about 6 minutes. Then I poured in the vegetable broth. When the broth started to boil I added the tofu and let that heat through for about 3 minutes. After that I threw in the baby bok choy. I covered the pan and let everything cook for about 4-5 minutes. When it was all heated through and the baby bok choy slightly wilted I turned off the heat and stirred in the lime juice.

I served the curry next to some white rice and garnished it with some cilantro.

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Feeling relatively uninspired for Meatless Monday last night I decided to clear some of the older veggies out of my fridge. The best way to do that is a simple stir-fry. Instead of meat I just added some cubed tofu.

I halved and quartered some shiitake depending on their size, separated and cleaned up some baby bok choy, chopped up a carrot, half an onion, 6 green onions, and a chinese eggplant.

I mixed together 1 tablespoon of paprika, 2 teaspoons of cumin, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of cayenne. After pressing the liquid out of the tofu in the fridge for about an hour I cubed it and tossed it in the spice mix. Then, in a hot pan, I stir-fried the tofu in soy oil for about 5 minutes. After that I put the tofu back into a bowl, wiped out the pan, and then cooked the veggies.

I started by adding some minced garlic and ginger to some hot soy oil. Then every few minutes I added another vegetable. I started with the onion, then carrot, green onion, shiitake, and eggplant. Once all the veggies were in I seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I tossed the tofu back in and added the juice of one lime and 2 tablespoons of honey (I had mixed the two together beforehand in order to get the honey fully integrated). I let that cook down for about 3 minutes or so before it was ready to serve.

I steamed the baby bok choy for about 4 minutes.

To serve, I laid the baby bok choy down on the plate and then topped it with the stir-fry. White rice was on the side.

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Last night’s Meatless Monday certainly wasn’t the prettiest of all plating, but I do have to say, my fried rice was excellent!

First things first, making the shumai. I simply took a half a piece of tofu and mixed it together with a small carrot and three green onions that were all small diced. I folded it all into some wonton wrappers and then set everything aside to steam later. When it came time to steam them, I let them go for about 10 minutes or so. That left the carrots a little al dente to leave a little texture. For service, I drizzled the shumai with some ponzu.

The miso eggplant is a classic Japanese home dish called nasu-miso. To start, I took two large Chinese eggplants, chopped them up into bite-sized pieces, then sprinkled them with salt in a colander. I let them sit for about a half hour to allow the bitter juices to drip out. Then I rinsed them off and squeezed them dry.

In a really hot pan I heated up about 5 tablespoons of sesame oil. As soon as the oil was smoking hot I added the eggplant. I wanted to wait until the oil was super hot so that the eggplant didn’t absorb it all. I fried the eggplant for about 8 minutes and then added a mix consisting of 3 tablespoons of sake, 1 tablespoon of mirin, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. I let that boil down for a couple of minutes.

Once the liquid almost evaporated and absorbed, I added 2 tablespoons of miso that I diluted with 3 tablespoons of water. I mixed that all around and let it cook for about 2 more minutes before serving.

To make the fried rice I started by sauteing some ginger and garlic in peanut oil. After a few minutes when they became really aromatic I threw in a diced carrot and 7 chopped green onions. I let that all cook for about 7 minutes and then threw in a bunch of thinly sliced shiitake. That went for another 4 minutes.

Typically, when I make fried rice, I will first make some scrambled eggs and set them aside to add right about this point. I forgot to do that. So, I just dumped two scrambled eggs on top of the veggies and fried them. I still works, but it’s not how fried rice is usually made.

Once the egg was cooked I threw in 2 cups of rice that I had made earlier in the day and let cool. With a wooden spoon I continuously broke up the rice and stirred it all in to get an even mix and to allow all of the rice to fry a little bit.

Once the rice is was all broken up I added a few tablespoons of soy sauce along with some black pepper and mixed it in really well. Then I tasted it for seasoning only to see that I needed a little more soy. So, I added a little more soy. It’s always best to start with less than you think you need. You can always add more, you can’t take any back at this point. At any rate, the rice turned out fantastic!

Oh, right before serving the rice I mixed in a bunch of chopped chives. We were at my buddy’s new place out in Jefferson Park and they have tons of chives growing in their backyard. So they gave us some for our cooking pleasure.

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Yuki did the cooking last night. There’s a popular bento dish called Sanshoku Bento, or three-color bento. It’s basically rice topped with some sort of ground meat, scrambled eggs, and some sort of vegetable. Hence, the name three-color. Drawing off of that, she ended up doing Yonshoku, or 4 colors.

For the meat we picked up some really good ground beef. Whole Foods had 85% grass-fed on sale, so we took advantage of that. She cooked it up with some garlic, ginger, sugar, soy, sake, mirin, and a little sesame oil. Not sure what measurements she used though.

For the eggs she simply scrambled a couple.

We had a Chinese eggplant in the fridge that needed to be used up, so she cooked it in soy, sake, and mirin.

For the green she used two vegetables. First, she boiled some broccoli. Then she wilted down some spinach in a little bit of soy sauce.

Not wanting to waste the broccoli water, she added the spinach juice to it and then boiled some mushrooms, carrot slices, green onion, and wakame in it for about 10 minutes or so. Then she added a little soy sauce and just a touch of sesame oil. Just before serving she mixed in about a tablespoon of miso.

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Last night’s dinner is probably the easiest thing in the world to make, chicken thighs and vegetables grilled. That’s basically it. What better way to enjoy fresh ingredients?

I took some skin-on bone-in chicken thighs and rubbed some olive oil into the skin then salted and peppered them. I cut one Chinese eggplant in half lengthwise, same with a zucchini. I cut up one and half yellow bell peppers into 1/3 inch strips. I cut a red onion in half and then each half into eighths (this sounds like I’m doing something entirely different) keeping the root end intact to keep the wedges together. I also took two tomatoes and cut them in half. I drizzled all of the vegetables with olive oil.

Then I threw everything on the grill. I started the chicken skin-side down to get it nice and crispy. I let all of the vegetables cook until just before they started to char. Then I took everything off the grill.

While the chicken was resting I cut the vegetables down into chunks and threw them into a large bowl. In the bowl I poured in about 1.5 tablespoons of balsamic vinager (so it’s technically not a grilled ratatouille), a little more olive oil, a handful of thinly sliced fresh basil, salt, and pepper. I tossed it all around for an even coat. I plated it all with some white rice. Simple as that.

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