Ottolenghi has a great steamed eggplant recipe in Plenty More, rather like the Thai one that I posted here but just different enough to try it out.
Don’t you just love the silky texture of steamed eggplant – so different to its grilled counterpart?
Steaming maintains some of the aubergine flesh’s texture, which doesn’t happen if you cook it in any other way. It gives this dish a particular substantial quality, making it suitable to serve with just plain rice or fried tofu. It can also be used as a condiment or side dish.
Are you looking for Spring Onion dishes? Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup.
Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion
Source: Ottolenghi’s Plenty More
Cuisine: SE Asian style without the chilli, or perhaps Japanese style
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins to steam the aubergine
Serves: approx 4 depending how you use it
2 large aubergines, topped, tailed and peeled (650g gross weight)
2½ tsp mirin
½ tsp sesame oil
1½ tbsp light soy sauce
2½ tsp rice vinegar
1½ tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
5 spring onions, sliced thinly on an angle
10g toasted mixed black and white sesame seeds
Fill a large pot (for which you have a lid) with water to a quarter of the way up the sides and bring to a boil. Place the eggplants in a steamer or a colander hovering over the water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the steamer. Cover tightly, using foil to seal the edges if you need to, and steam for 30 minutes, turning the eggplants once.
When the eggplants are cooked, remove the steamer from the pot and leave the eggplants to cool and drain inside the steamer. Shred the flesh by hand into long, thin strips 5 mm wide, then continue to drain for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Mix together the mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in the ginger and garlic and set aside.
Once the eggplant strips are completely cool, gently toss them with the dressing before adding the green onions and sesame seeds. Leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes and then serve.
A Chinese bamboo steamer placed in a wide pot could be used to steam the aubergines.