Thai Basil Eggplant recipe

5 Aug

If you were to name this dish for the ingredients, it might as well be ASEAN Eggplant. We have riffed off many recipes and restaurants to find our favorite flavor profile. I love how this variation isn’t as sweet as is usually served in Thai restaurants. If you want it even less sweet, use a couple of teaspoons sugar instead of a full tablespoon. Slide the ingredients any direction for the variation you prefer!

Chinese broccoli, scallions, Chinese eggplant, and Thai basil

Fresh ingredients for Chinese eggplant with Thai Basil (plus Chinese broccoli for a different dish)

Chinese Eggplant with Thai Basil

  • 2 Chinese eggplant, cut in 1/2 inch thick diagonal pieces
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 scallions, chop white parts and slice green tops in 1 inch pieces (separated)
  • 1 bunch Thai Basil (approx 1 cup packed leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry Sherry)
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Mix the pepper, sugar, fish and soy sauces, and sesame oil and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix chicken broth (if using Knox chicken bullion or similar) and set aside for the last step.

Now cut the eggplant, scallions, and wash and dry basil.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat a couple tablespoons of neutral cooking oil and add the eggplant. Turn a couple times, adding more oil if the pan dries, cooking for approximately 5 minutes.

Make a well and add the garlic and chopped scallion whites, cooking 30 seconds or so until fragrant. Next add the wine or Sherry, mixing well until absorbed/evaporated, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go. Toss in the basil and scallion greens until well combined.

Next comes the soy and fish sauce mixture. Stir continuously for a couple of minutes as the juices are sucked into the eggplant and sauce begins to reduce.

Chicken broth comes in last, mix well and cover to cook for a couple of minutes until fully absorbed.

Serve alongside any protein, or mix beef or chicken directly into the dish. If you go that route, marinate chicken in a tablespoon of soy and few dashes of fish sauce and coat with cornstarch. Cook the protein first and set aside, combining with the eggplant before adding the sauce.

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