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Meat Free Monday: Thai Eggplant with Basil

Posted by on 8/13/2012 to Recipes
meat free monday: thai eggplant with basil
(Tastebook.com)
This is a quick, delicious Asian vegetable entrée with some spice.  Pair this dish with some Black Forbidden Rice or quinoa for a super healthy meal.  The eggplant also goes well with brown rice or soba noodles.  We added a couple of extra garlic cloves because we can never have enough, as well as an extra handful of basil leaves, and grade B maple syrup instead of sugar. Topped on quinoa, this was a great quick and flavorful recipe!

The key to this recipe is speed: the vegetables need little more than a quick toss in wok.  For best results, use to use firm, unblemished, pale purple Chinese eggplant; don't use a big round Mediterranean one, or the texture will be a bit off.  Adjust the balance of sweet, spicy and salty elements to your liking.  Start to finish: 30 min

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium-sized Chinese eggplants, halved and chopped into 1"-1.5" pieces 
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips 
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into large pieces 
  • 3 Thai or serrano chiles, finely chopped 
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic (we added 2 extra garlic cloves) 
  • a generous handful of fresh Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped (we added an extra handful) 
  • 4 tbsp mild-flavoured oil (we used grape seed) 
Sauce:
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce 
  • 1-2 tbsp brown or palm sugar (we used 2 tbsp maple syrup instead) 
  • 3/4 cup warm water 
  • 2 tsp corn starch mixed with 4 tbsp cold water 
Preparation
  1. Mix fish sauce, soy, water and brown sugar; set aside. 
  2. Heat wok on medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp oil, and eggplants. Fry for 2 minutes on either side, or until they begin to brown and turn soft. Remove from wok. 
  3. Add 1 tbsp oil to wok. Add onions, and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and glossy. Remove from wok. 
  4. Heat remaining oil. Add garlic and chiles, and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sliced pepers and onions; fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Return eggplant to the wok, and toss to combine. 
  5. Add sauce to the wok, stirring for 1 minute. Toss in basil. 
  6. Add corn starch, cooking until the sauce becomes thick and coats the vegetables. Serve immediately over hot rice. 
The recipe was taken from http:www.epicurious.com and can be found here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/THAI-FRIED-EGGPLANT-WITH-BASIL-1202498