Parenting Tips

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Eggplant with Spicy Garlic Sauce/Dried Shrimps


Brinjal or commonly known as eggplant is a vegetable well-liked by all races in Singapore. The usual cooking practices include baking, barbecuing, frying or pickling the fruits. They can also be pureed, flavoured or used as a dip or chutney as is popular in Mediterranean and Indian cuisines. In Indian cuisine, they are used in curries and even made into soufflés. The cut vegetable is soaked in cold salted water before being cooked to avoid discoloration and to remove its mild bitterness.

Parents, below are 2 recipes that you can try out.

Eggplant with spicy garlic sauce

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm Asian eggplants
  • Corn flour for dry-coating
  • 200 gm chopped shrimps
  • 50 gm Sichuan pickle, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped
  • 1 fresh chilli, thinly sliced
  • Oil for deep-frying
Seasonings:
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thai bsil or cilantro
  • 2 tsps corn flour

Sauce:

  • ½ cup or 125 ml soup stock
  • 2 tbsps vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp wine
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 2 tsps corn flour
  • 2 tsps sesame oil

Method (serves 4 – 6 persons):

  1. Cut eggplant diagonally into 1 cm slices. Cut each slice in half lengthwise, but do not cut all the way through.
  2. Dry coat eggplant with corn flour and let stand for 15 minutes
  3. Combine seasoning ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  4. Combine sauce ingredients in another bowl and set aside
  5. Process shrimp, pickle, egg and seasonings in a food processor to a smooth paste
  6. Stuff eggplant with 1 heaping tsp of shrimp filling
  7. Dust again with corn flour to seal filling
  8. Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat
  9. Deep-fry eggplant, a few pieces at a time until golden brown (about 1 minute)
  10. Remove, drain on paper towel and transfer to a serving platter
  11. Remove all but 2 tbsps oil from wok and heat over medium-heat
  12. Add garlic, ginger, spring onion and chilli
  13. Stir-fry for 10 seconds
  14. Add sauce and bring to a boil
  15. Reduce heat to medium-low
  16. Add eggplant and cook for 2 minutes

Eggplant with dried shrimps

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 50 gm dried shrimps
  • 4 gloves of garlic
  • Oil for frying
  • Sambal chilli (optional)

Method (serves 4 – 6 persons):

  1. Soak dried shrimps with enough water to immerse them for 30 minutes
  2. Cut eggplant into 5 cm length-wise strips and soak in salt water for 2 minutes
  3. Drain the eggplant and set aside
  4. De-skin the garlics
  5. Drain the shrimps and pound with the garlic until fine texture (keep the shrimp water)
  6. Heat 2 tbsps cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat
  7. Stir-fry eggplant until colour changes, dish out and set aside
  8. With remaining oil, add in the shrimp cum garlic paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes
  9. For spicy version, add in sambal chilli (if not, just omit this step)
  10. Add in the eggplant, followed by shrimp water and mix well
  11. Add another ½ cup of water and simmer for another 3 minutes
  12. Add soy sauce to taste before dishing out

Goodness of eggplant

Eggplant is high in nutrition, low in calories and also used in traditional medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all parts of the plant can be used to stop intestinal bleeding. The fruit of the plant is used as an antidote in cases of mushroom poisoning. In Indochina, parts of the plant are used as a purgative. For Traditional Malay Medicine, the ashes of the fruit are used in dry, hot poultices to treat hemorrhoids. To treat ulcers, the root is pounded and applied inside the nostrils. The Amboinese take the juice of the root from a wild variety of the plant to ease a difficult labour. Arabs have a superstition that the fruit has high "heating" properties which causes melancholia and madness. For this reason, Malay and Indian women do not consume eggplant for the first 40 days after giving birth.

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