Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Roasted Vietnamese Eggplant

If you are vegan or vegetarian and miss the meat-like texture of something dense and chewy, eggplant may be what you are searching for!   A lot of people dislike eggplant because it can be quite mushy, however, it can also be quite texturally satisfying! It all depends on how it is prepared.   The fruit contains a lot of water, and this is what often makes them soggy when breaded or in a ratatouille.  

This recipe is for a delightfully chewy, smoky and flavorful eggplant which is inspired by a Vietnamese mode of preparation.  It can be made in either an oven or gas stove top, and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare!  

If using an Italian eggplant, you may want to share this with a friend, or at least prepare to have leftovers.  For a smaller portion use Chinese, or Indian eggplants - they are much smaller.  

  • 1 large Italian eggplant
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch knob ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • peanuts and fried onions as garnish


  1. Wash the eggplant and remove the sticker if it has one. 
  2. With a fork, pierce the eggplant's skin.  This will help release steam and will allow the eggplant to cook faster. 
  3. If using an oven, turn the burn on to broil setting.  Once hot, place the eggplant under the burner keeping a close eye on it.  
  4. Once it starts to blister, flip the eggplant so that there is always a raw portion facing upwards.  This does not take long, maybe 10 minutes in total.  Do not leave this unattended as the dried eggplant skin can catch fire if not careful.  
  5. Once the fruit has separated from the skin, and the eggplant looks "baggy" remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  6. If using a gas stovetop, place the eggplant over the open flame.  You do not need to use a pan or grill.  Like the oven method, keep a close eye on the skin and rotate when the eggplant begins to blister.  Continue until the flesh has separated from the fruit and allow to cool before proceeding.
  7. Once the eggplant has cooled, begin to rip the charred skin off so you are left with just the fruit and stem.  
  8. With a fork or knife, slice or shred the fruit into strips starting at the stem. 
  9. In a mixing bowl or measuring cup, add the rest of the ingredients (excluding the garnish) and stir so they are mixed.  Pour this eggplant, making sure that it gets into the grooves you have cut. 
  10. Garnish with peanuts and fried onions. 

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