Do you feel like summer is over? The other day I was looking to buy a little sand bucket with a shovel and you’d think I was searching for aliens. All summer/pool related toys were gone from the shelves. It wasn’t even August! Why do stores shove winter in our faces this early? Yes, winter! Hobby Lobby has a huge Christmas display! Thanks, but no thanks. Can we please stick to the calendar?
OK, enough complaining. I’m still holding on to summer. Although this one was pretty busy, I’m not ready to hibernate. First a visit home, over the big pond, then we can talk winter! Can’t wait!
You’re waiting to hear about this Eggplant Dip and I’m yapping… When I first moved to the States, 17 years ago, I didn’t speak any English. OK, maybe I was able to say Hi and My Name Is, but that was it. I was enrolled in ESL – English as a second language course (is there an ETL course? lol).
After a conclusion of the course, our teacher hosted a party at her house and we were supposed to bring a traditional dish from our country. The students were from all over the world – Mexico, France, Korea, Kenya, Ecuador…So many beautiful dishes were on the table. But I don’t remember any of them. Heck, I don’t even remember what I brought that day. Our teacher made this eggplant dip and I was in heaven. I’m pretty sure I alone ate all of it. It was so good. She wasn’t even from China.
Taste of China – Eggplant DipIncredibly flavorful Chinese style eggplant dip will make any gathering memorable. Click To Tweet
I asked for the recipe and she dictated it to me as I wrote it down. Considering my English knowledge at that time, I hope the recipe didn’t lose much in translation. One of the optional ingredients was hot oil, but I could never find such a thing at the grocery stores. So I substitute it with any kind of Asian hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes. I use just a little to add some heat.
1 large Eggplant
4 teaspoons Chinese thin Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon distilled White Vinegar
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 clove Garlic, mashed to a pulp
¼ teaspoon Hot Oil or hot sauce (optional)
1/8 teaspoon Salt or to taste
1 tablespoon very finely chopped Scallions (green onions)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Chinese Parsley (optional)
There are two methods to cook eggplant: steaming or roasting. I prefer roasting because it requires less preparation but you make your own choice.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prick eggplant in several places with a fork to allow steam to escape. Rub eggplant with one tablespoon oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast until soft, for about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until the eggplant is cool enough to handle.
When cool, slice lengthwise and scrape out eggplant meat into a bowl; mash lightly with a fork. You do NOT want a puree.
Set up your steaming equipment. Remember that the water in the lower container should not touch the bottom of the perforated steamer. There should be a lid to hold in the steam.
Peel the eggplant and cut into large 1-inch chunks. Bring the steaming water to a boil. Put the eggplant in the steamer, cover, and steam for 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Put the eggplant in a bowl and mash lightly with a fork. You do NOT want a puree.
Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, hot oil or sauce and salt in a small bowl and pour over the eggplant; mix. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with scallions and parsley just before serving. Serve with baked pita chips, crackers or toasted tortilla or pita bread triangles. Enjoy this taste of China!
I’d love to hear what recipe made your event memorable!