Eggplants come in all shapes and sizes, colours, tastes and textures. Sadly, we only get to cook with a few varieties through our Green Grocer and 1 or 2 more through our Asian Grocers. Thai Eggplants are a particular favourite, a little crunchier in texture than the European variety, and a real affinity with Asian flavours such as toasted sesame and soy.
This dish has to be eaten to be believed! How can eggplant taste so not-like-eggplant?
Eggplant always surprises.
This is one of those dishes things that is an absolute surprise! The sort of recipe that makes you want to rush out to plant your own huge eggplant patch! This is more of a summer dish in Japan as eggplants are one of the best antidotes to Japan’s hot and sultry summers. But it can be cooked at any time that eggplants are in season. The broth is heavenly, and the eggplant acts like tofu, soaking up all of the flavours.
A Japanese Style luxurious aubergine dish – salad, side dish, main course or condiment.
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.
You might also like to try some Eggplant Dishes. Try Spring Onion Greens Salad, Smoky Eggplant and Tomatoes, Steamed Thai Eggplants with Sesame Soy Garlic Dressing, and Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini with Chilli and Lime.
I love this!
My friend Kate recently told me how good steamed Thai eggplants are with a chilli paste. In need of a quick snack while prep’ing for the large dinner on Xmas Day, I threw some in the steamer with left over zucchini, grabbed some chilli paste from the fridge and chopped up some cumquats. I love this!
I can imagine these eggplants served in a row on a narrow white plate, each one on a salad green leaf, ready for eating picking up and putting straight into the mouth. Also in this pic are some steamed betel leaves, and a pea shoots and chopped cumquats salad.
And Nigel Slater said eggplants can’t be steamed!
A very simple and easy recipe for a lovely snack on its own, with rice or part of a larger Thai meal. Ottolenghi has published a Japanese recipe that is nearly identical (see Ottolenhi’s version) some years after this one post appeared. It shows how wide spread dishes can be over Asia, retaining similar characteristics with regional variations.
You might also like to cook Kerala Eggplant in Coconut, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Eggplant, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts, or Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini. Browse all of our Eggplant Recipes here and here, and all of our Asian recipes here and here.