Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grilled eggplants: many ways with the aromatic favorite...



When you like a vegetables just too much, you want all the possibles ways to cook it. And that happens with eggplants for me. Actually not just eggplants, it's grilled or roasted eggplants. That burnt skin of eggplants is so hunger inducing that I start getting ideas while grilling it.

I grill my eggplants on stove top and that way it emanates the most lovely aroma of burnt eggplant skin. Being a moody foodie I mostly decide while grilling my eggplants what seasonings are going to be in my mash. Yes, most of the times it is a mash, sometimes I just slice it and douse it with some sauce and herbs so it's all fresh and delicate.

The first recipe here is a Japanese style grilled eggplants. Called Yaki nasu in japanese.

I saw this recipe here, it was so simple it just got embedded in my mind. Some days are just so fit for such a recipe that I can have it for a meal. Loved it so much for it's simplicity and a wholesome grilled eggplant flavor that is complemented so well by dark soy sauce. I had never imagined soy sauce could do such magic to grilled eggplants.


You don't even need many ingredients for it. You always have some ginger roots and soy sauce of dark or light variety is also a staple. I tried it with light soy sauce as well and liked it both ways. I have used chopped chives as a garnish and a subtle flavoring , that can be omitted or substituted with chopped garlic if you wish. The original recipe uses spring onions. I used fresh chives because i had a lot of it at that time.

I saw another recipe here that uses chopped spring onions. So you can use whatever greens you have for a subtle flavor. Greens always enhance a simple dish like this i think.

ingredients...
(2 large servings)

one large eggplant or two medium ones (approximately 400 gm)
dark soy sauce 1 tbsp or to taste
sesame oil
finely chopped ginger 1 tbsp
fine chopped fresh red chillies 1-2 tsp or to taste
chopped chives or spring onions 2 tbsp or as required


procedure...

Grill the eggplants over flame or inside an oven till the skin is charred and the interiors are soft. Let it cool to be handled and peel off the skin.

Slice the eggplant and arrange in a serving plate the way you want to serve them. Individual slices can be placed in small serving dishes if you are serving a crowd.

Mix the dark soy and chopped ginger and pour over the egg plant slices to douse them completely. No salt is required in this recipe as there is enough in soy sauce.

This recipe is meant to be at room temperature when served. But I guess it could be a cold salad as well.

We loved the simple flavors so much that have already repeated the recipe quite a few times. More so because two varieties of eggplants are being harvested from the garden.

Now that I said there are two varieties in the garden. Sometimes I get only two small green and long ones in a day. For such small quantities I make a hot garlicky mash with olive oil and sun dried Cherie tomatoes. You know the Cherie tomatoes are from the garden as well and sun dried by moi.

This hot garlicky grilled eggplant mash is something you would like on a pizza as well. or a grilled sandwich. So this one is an Italian mashed eggplant ...

Recipe is simple, grilled and peeled eggplants are mashed with lots of finely chopped garlic, a dash of hot tabasco sauce, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste and lots of sun dried tomatoes. Lots of sun dried tomatoes means about half the quantity of the mashed grilled eggplants.


 Regular sun dried tomatoes can be used too. If they are pickled in Olive oil there is no need to add any extra EVOO to the mash.

I normally do not pickle the sun dried tomatoes in Olive oil and store them in the fridge for about a year. This way they are more versatile in usage, one can use them in many different recipes, Thai, Indian or even some Lebanese or Italian.

Here is another grilled eggplant mash with a hot red sauce. A Chinese one.

And this one is entirely a different flavor, although it looks similar being a mashed eggplant dish.

A very convenient quick side dish to have if you have some of this hot sauce ready. I made it for the Hainanese Chicken and rice recipe and the sauce was received so well that I decided to use it for some more recipes. This eggplant mash is one of them.

Just grilled , peeled eggplants, mashed along with a generous dollop of this hot red dipping sauce that goes normally with Hainanese chicken and rice.




 Recipe of the hot red sauce is here if you are making it fresh...

ingredients for the dipping sauce..
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp tabasco sauce
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 inch piece of ginger chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 whole red chilly broken
1 tsp white vinegar

Procedure....

Blend everything smooth to make a thick sauce, without adding any water.

And then add a dollop of this sauce to mashed grille eggplants and enjoy.

You could try adding some ricotta or feta cheese to this mash for a wholesome main dish.

Now that you have three recipes with grilled eggplants, which one would you make first ?


14 comments:

  1. yeah, definitely one like to cook one's fav vegetable iin many ways..and ym fav vegetable is the humble potato....and i have it in many ways!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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    Replies
    1. Potatoes are my husband's fave. I cook with them a lot but they rarely find their way to my blogs. Am I mean?

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  2. awesome recipes. I actually thought those are steamed fish pieces. looks wonderfully flaky and yummy.

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    Replies
    1. It's quite moist and buttery. Looks are deceptive probably :-)
      Many thought it was fish :-)

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  3. super recipes!!!!i love the first one..feel like just reaching in and helping myself....lovely!

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    1. Glad you liked it Simran. Thanks.

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  4. Am drooling over these eggplants.... can totally relate to what u said about the smell of roasted eggplant.... Now, you have me confused, what should I do with the eggplant that I have, was planning to make bharta... One quick question, how do u slice eggplant after roasting, isn't it difficult to handle? - Yuppy...

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    Replies
    1. It's easy to slice them after roasting.Just retain the stems all along, after peeling the burnt skin, hold the eggplant by the stem and slice it with a sharp knife, over a chopping board or a plate.

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  5. wow, they looks like great dishes Sangeeta

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  6. looks so spicy and delicious!

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  7. both the recipes are so simple. sometimes simple ways of making food makes the final dish so relishing and good.

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  8. Simple fod, amazing presentation. Looks so delicious ...I also roast Eggplant on stove top, that unbeatable fragrance, hmm :)

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