Following a bunch of requests after serving this eggplant at a few 100 Mile Table lunches recently – here we go folks, Spicy crushed eggplant. A fairly simple recipe and not even time consuming – just start it the day before to get the eggplant nicely pressed over night. Best served with loads of steamed rice to mop up all the juices and your favourite curry. Enjoy x
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
2 medium-large purple eggplant
4 long green shallots, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 long red chillies, split, seeds removed, finely chopped (dependent on your love of chilli)
4 tablespoons palm sugar
4 tablespoons light soy
6-8 tablespoons lime juice
Slice the eggplant thinly to halfway down so that it remains intact. Turn it over and do the same on the other side, in the opposite direction, still intact.
Soak the eggplant in salted water for 15 minutes. Boil for about 10 minutes in unsalted water, weighting the eggplant down with a plate or heavy lid so it stays submerged. Drain the eggplant and squeeze as much juice from it as possible. Put the eggplant on a large plate or tray, cover with a similar plate or tray and weight heavily overnight in the fridge.
Heat 1/4 cup of peanut oil in a large frying pan or on the flat plate of a bbq, and cook the eggplant until crispy and quite dark, about 5 minutes each side. Remove and drain on paper towel.
To the pan, add the shallot, garlic and chilli, sauté till fragrant then add the palm sugar, soy and finish with the lime juice to taste . Allow to caramelise just a little, check the balance of the sauce then serve the hot sauce over the eggplant. Allow the balance of flavours to suit your palate – I like this dish quite limey, but do whatever works best for you.