Monday, September 21, 2009

Sep 21: Japanese Eggplant Thai-Style

I've had a new range for a few days now, but haven't had a chance to really use it other than to boil water. That OT is ruining my cooking schedule! lol!

One thing I've found is the burner elements are really efficient - heating up quickly and remain hot a low settings.

Today, I found the time to cook instead of takeout or fast food.

Scrounging through my refrigerator I found a 1 pound pork tenderloin and some Japanese eggplant.

Japanese eggplant are about the size of a cucumber with thinner skins and a milder/sweeter flavor than a globe (American) eggplant.

Thinner skins and smaller seed pouch (if that's what it's called...) makes for a sweeter less bitter (no salting needed) dish.

With most of my recipes, they're spur of the moment and improvised. As I'm looking at what I have, I'm formulating what I'm going to make.

Hot stove... I'll use my wok - something my previous stove had a hard time with.
Japanese eggplant, but craving Thai food.

Thai-Style Japanese Eggplant

1 lb Pork Tenderloin, thinly sliced - marinade in the following 5 ingredients.
1 clove garlic minced
1 T Fish Sauce
A few grinds of black pepper
1 t of cornstarch.

5 Japanese Eggplant
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/4 C Carrot
2 T Oyster Sauce
1 C Basil
1/2 t Black Pepper, ground
1/2 t White Pepper, ground
Maggi Seasoning (optional)

1. Heat a wok with 1 or 2 T of oil and partially cook the pork. Remove from the wok and set aside.

2. Add 1 T oil to the hot wok... add the garlic and the rest of the veg to "dry" fry. Usually, dry frying involves deep frying the eggplant to dry out, pre-cook and concentrate the flavors. However, I opted for a healthier cooking method. After 5 minutes, I added the oyster sauce, a few shakes of Maggi and 1/4 C of water to cover and steam the vegetables... about 5 more minutes.

3. While the vegetables are steaming, I added the black pepper, white pepper and a little red chili pepper flakes to the pork.

4. The eggplant has softened and about 80% cooked. The basil and pork were added to the eggplant to finish off the dish... Cover and steamed about 5 minutes.

The finished dish... It may not be pretty.

But sure is tasty. :)

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