I can always count on my friend Scott to share his latest veggie recipe with me. I recently posted Scott’s recipe for cauliflower jambalaya. Our local farmers market had Ichiban Japanese eggplant that were well suited to this Szechuan style preparation that Scott created. I filled my market bag with a couple of small baskets of the sleek and shiny Ichiban eggplants and headed home to work a little of Scott’s magic with these purple beauties.
You can also use the larger purple eggplants or aubergine for this recipe. The recipe can easily be doubled if you need to make more to serve as a main course or as a side.
After the eggplant is cubed and salted and placed in a colander to drain, Scott recommended that you use this opportunity to take a little break. You have time for a 30 minute workout or a quick run. You will be back in plenty of time to chop the onion and garlic and whip up the spicy Szechuan sauce. I slightly modified Scott’s original sauce recipe to get a little more acid and a little more salt and heat. For the sauce, I combined soy sauce or you can use gluten free tamari to capture the savory umami, with a little maple syrup for sweetness, fish sauce for salt, and rice vinegar for acid. If you enjoy cooking Asian style recipes, these are essential ingredients to have in your pantry.
I like to serve the eggplant with steamed brown rice as a main course. Scott also recommends serving the szechuan eggplant with tofu. I would sauté a firm tofu in a little oil to brown and crisp it a bit. Gently stir the tofu into the eggplant and sauce mixture. Feel free to make your own improvements and modifications to the recipe. It can only get better and Scott would be fine with that!