Asian Eggplant & Zucchini w Chili Garlic Peanut Sauce

Get ready to put in some work for a very rewarding recipe mf’s, prepping eggplants takes a little bit of patience so they cook right… but I promise you, it’s worth it. The sauce for this dish is super easy to put together, starting with the peanut butter, stir in the wet ingredients and you should find yourself with a delicious ass sauce.

I coat the veggies in corn starch before cooking to help keep them from absorbing too much oil and becoming soggy. A lovely trick I learned from Bianca at Bianca Zapatka who shared a Chinese Eggplant recipe, I made some alterations.

The recipe takes about 30-40 minutes, plus I know you’ve got time… we’re in lame ass quarantine, which feels never-ending. It uses basic household ingredients for the sauce, and tastes mf great. PLUS eggplant is a great source of vitamins and minerals, helps with digestion, improves heart health and has many more great qualities… so if you’re an eggplant hater I would reconsider. Sometimes it takes a few times to cook right, but ultimately sooooo delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants each 10oz (small long ones if possible)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch optional
For the Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar or other sugar
For frying
  • 2 ½ tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 chili pepper chopped or 1 tsp chili paste
For serving (optional)
  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • sesame
  • rice
  • limes

Instructions:

  1. Cut the eggplants into small chunks as shown in the step-by-step photos above. Then transfer them to a large bowl, add the salt and mix well to combine. Allow to soak for 15 minutes (or up to 1 hour).
  2. Then pat the eggplants dry, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and mix well to coat. (If you find the eggplants too salty after soaking, you can also rinse them under cold running water before patting them dry.)
  3. Place the peanut butter in a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and pour into the peanut butter stirring. It may not immediately combine but after enough stirring it will. Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients in.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan or wok over medium heat. Add the eggplants and fry for about 5-8 minutes. Once the skin is well browned and the inside turns soft, remove the eggplants and transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the remaining oil, ginger, garlic, and chili to the same pan and roast for a few seconds while stirring until fragrant. Then put the eggplants back to the pan. Mix the sauce again until the cornstarch is completely dissolved and pour it over the eggplants. Stir immediately until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens.
  6. Garnish the eggplants with spring onions and sesame and serve as a side dish or as a main course over rice or pasta with lime wedges on the side.
  7. Enjoy that sh*t

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