Today is the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, the Human Day, supposedly the birthday for all and everyone. I was looking for Asian dishes to cook for the Chinese New Year. I found this recipe in Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. If you like eggplant and haven’t used the steaming technique to prepare it, you might just want to give this simple recipe a try. Steaming maintains the texture of the eggplant flesh, unlike any other techniques, like roasting or braising, which tend to dry out the vegetable. Steaming eggplant is commonly used in the Far East. Instead of the ubiquitous olive oil used in most Ottolenghi’s recipes, he dressed the eggplants, appropriately, with an Asian dressing. Sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chopped fresh ginger and garlic. The resulting dish gives eggplant a substantial quality suitable to be served as a main course with just plain rice or fried tofu.
There are so few ingredients, yet this dish packs a big nutritional punch and taste that lingers. You want to eat more of it!
This may not be the dish everyone wants to be served on his/her birthday. Somehow, this is a very affordable and satisfying dish, with an equalitarian quality. Almost anyone is able to put this on the table, with a smile, anywhere in the world.