Chinese Eggplant Salad (凉拌茄子)

IMG_9006

INTRODUCTION

Two weeks ago, when I prepared a brinjal or eggplant dish, I was “bombarded” by my family members that the look of my cooked eggplant looked extremely disgusting… Yes, I agreed because I did not deep fried the egg plant before I proceeded to other cooking… That prompted me to search for ways to preserve the eggplant purplish colour without the use of deep frying method..

IMG_8997

It took me a few trials to get this colour and it is still not perfect yet. In fact, one of the reasons is I am trying to find my best cooking utensils to cook this dish such that the eggplant will not floated upwards and hence discoloured. You shall know later in the post that eggplants floated up and any surface area that touches the air will turn brownish.

IMG_9010

As per Wikipedia:

“Eggplant (Solanum melongena) or aubergine is a species of nightshade grown for its edible fruit. It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal.[While “eggplant” is the common name in American, Canadian, and Australian English, “aubergine” is much more common in British English. Other common names are melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. Nutritionally, eggplant is low in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It also contains relatively low amounts of most important vitamins and minerals. A 1998 study at the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University, Brazil, found eggplant juice to significantly reduce weight, plasma cholesterol levels, and aortic cholesterol content in hyper cholesterol emic rabbits. “ (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant)

IMG_9002

Experienced cook will know that cut brinjal turned brown due to oxidation due to enzyme known as polyphenol oxidase. All the purplish colour will become brownish when it was exposed to oxygen during the process of cooking. Traditionally, deep frying was used as there is no oxygen in the hot oil and hence the colour was preserved and it serves to explain why restaurant cooked eggplant dishes was always oil but looked nice.

IMG_8999

If cooked in water, one has to ensure that the water has no oxygen and cooked water will have no oxygen. Therefore, a healthier method will be to submerge the eggplant into the hot boiling water. Eggplants float in water, therefore, one has to find a way such that the eggplant remain in the hot water without touching the air . Any parts that was exposed to the air will be brownish…

IMG_8993

I have two recipes using this method and what I am sharing is a type of Chinese salad dish called “liang ban 凉拌” or literally translated as “chilled and stirred”. It is common in restaurant as an appetizer and it can  be used for cucumber , tomatoes and etc. For eggplant, it needs to be cooked first before it was prepared as a salad dish.

IMG_9004


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 adults as an appetizer

IMG_8986

  • 1 medium size egg plant
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-2sprigs of coriander
  • 1 small size red chilli
  • 2 tablespoons of dark vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Pinches of salt

IMG_9032


STEPS OF PREPARATION

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Cut the egg plant into quarter and your desired length. Set aside.

  • In a pot, put adequate water enough to cover the egg plant. Bring to boil. Once it boils, add the egg plant and quickly using something heavy to press the egg plant such that all the eggplants were submerged in the hot water. Blanch for 7-8 minutes. Transfer out to a pot of icy cold water. Let it soaked in the cold water for 2-3 minutes. Take out and placed on the serving plate.

  • Minced the garlic, chilli and coriander until fine. In a bowl, put the black vinegar, sesame oil, light soya sauce, sugar , pinches of salt and minced herbs. Stir until well combined. Drizzle on top of the blanched eggplant and best served chilled as an appetizer in a Chinese meal.

Note:

  • Timing of the blanching will depends on your preferred texture and the size of the eggplant.

IMG_9053

  • Steaming method can be used and the timing is the same. It must be steamed under strong heat and with the skin placed downwards.

IMG_9030



CONCLUSION

This is a healthy dish with very low calories. It is a delicious appetizer that will impress your guess. Remember to find some kitchen utensils that can do the job of pressing the eggplant downwards. Once it floated up, the colour will be different. Please stay tune for the upcoming dish on stew eggplant clay pot dish (鱼香茄子煲)。

IMG_8995

Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have nice day.

IMG_9008



IMG_9038

One thought on “Chinese Eggplant Salad (凉拌茄子)

  1. Pingback: Brinjal Clay Pot Stew or Sichuan Braised Eggplant (鱼香茄子煲) | GUAI SHU SHU

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s