I harvested my first eggplant today! It’s especially exciting since I’ve tried growing this purple vegetable before with little success. My previous attempts yielded a total of one eggplant. When I tried grilling it, it was so small that it fell through the grates and instantly burst into flames.
This year, I’m already ahead of the game. The eggplant I harvested today was large enough for two people to share, and I have several more coming in on its heels. No doubt my success this year can be attributed to the fact that I did not crowd the plants. Each plant had a solid 18 inches of growing room in any direction.
The fresh eggplant had no traces of bitterness, even without salting. It cooked more quickly than the conventional variety, and the flavor was sweeter with a creamy texture.
This recipe is an adaptation from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo’s Chinese Kitchen.
2 Italian Eggplants
2 ½ tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons plain oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped
3 scallions, cut into rings
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons gin
¾ cup chicken stock
1 – 2 teaspoon chili paste or sriracha – depending on taste
1. Combine ingredients for sauce.
2. Cut eggplant into 1 inch cubes and toss in tapioca starch
3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil. When oil is hot, add eggplant in a single layer.
4. Cook eggplant until it starts to brown, and toss. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant.
5. Stir in sauce and scallions and cook until the sauce thickens.
6. Serve over rice.
Garden to Table: 20 minutes<