Sunday, March 28, 2010

Szechuan Eggplant and Basil

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetable. They come in different sizes and shape! I bought a pack from my regular asian market and have been trying to figure out how to cook them besides frying, baking or boiling. That was the only way I have cooked them in the past. Now that I discovered hundreds of spices from around the world, I thought it's time for me to make my eggplant a bit more exotic and flavorful!


8 small size Indian eggplant or Thai Eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs) cut into quarters
6 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoon red chile pepper
2 teaspoon szechuan seasoning**
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 cup of water
1 cup of fresh basil leaves

Rinse the eggplant with cold water and pat dry. With a large, sharp knife cut off its stem end. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into quarters. Heat the saute pan with the oil. Add the garlic and stir until medium brown. Add the basil and cook for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and stir for about 1 minute then add the red chile pepper and the szechuan seasoning. Stir for another minute in high heat. Add the water, stir, cover and simmer in medium heat for 10 minutes or until the eggplant are soft and the liquid evaporated. The dish is done and enjoy with steamed rice.

**Szechuan Pepper and Salt by Penzeys Spices
 - Coarse Flake Salt and Szechuan Peppercorns - the peppercorns are roasted and ground with flake salt to a fine powder.

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