27 October 2009

Little Eggplants

Ironically, 70 posts into the Goofy Gourmet, I offer you one of the very first recipes I learned. My homestay mother in Japan, Nishino-san, taught it to me out of sheer pity because all I knew how to make was 1) lentils on toast 2) tofu lasagna 3) split pea soup and 4) rock-hard whole wheat bread. I told Nishino-san upon arrival that I didn't much like eggplant, and the next thing I knew she was preparing eggplant for me in a different way each night until I capitulated and admitted that actually it could be quite tasty. We found some cute lavender-colored eggplants at the farmers' market the other day and I cooked 'em right up. George loves everything I make that Nishino-san taught me. The cooked eggplants have a somewhat smoky, sweet flavor.

Recipes don't get much easier that this! It tastes nice with rice and side of fresh-cooked greens. (If you're gluten-free, use wheat-free soy sauce or just salt and pepper).

Nishino-san's Little Eggplants

some little eggplants, with shiny smooth skin
soy sauce (low sodium is best)

1) Cut off the green stems and caps of the eggplant. Wash thoroughly and dry the eggplant.
2) Heat up oil in a small fry pan. When sizzling hot, add the whole eggplants. Cover with a lid (so that the eggplants cook all the way through).
3) When they're brown and soft on one side, turn them over to the opposite side. Cooking chopsticks help here. Cover with the lid again.
4) When they're soft all the way through, remove from heat and drain/ pat off the oil with paper or cloth towels.
5) Slice them lengthwise, 2 or 3 slices per eggplant. They will be hot, so hold them in place with chopsticks or a fork.
6) Drizzle soy sauce (or salt and pepper) over them and serve hot.

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