You may know it as Myanmar, but, to us, it’ll always be the place where they know how to do something tasty with eggplant. (That and the former home of some frankly bizarre monetary policy, but let’s not go there.) We found this recipe in this outstanding Asian cookbook.
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced onion, soaked in water
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I also added about a 1/2 tsp of sesame oil for flavor)
- 2 bird’s-eye chilies, finely sliced (OK, so we substituted about a Tbsp of red pepper flakes)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Grill the eggplants over a charcoal flame (or, you know, in an oven, or on a stovetop grill) until the skin is lightly charred and the flesh is soft. Let cool. While that’s going on, chop the peanuts and, if you’ve got untoasted sesame seeds, try toasting them in a non-stick pan. (Ours didn’t turn out exactly right, so Kitchen Daddy sprinkled some sesame oil over it, too, for the flavor.) Discard the skin and mash the flesh. Heat the cooking oil, add the garlic and deep-fry until crisp. We also added the pepper flakes at this point to get some spice into the oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and retain the oil.
Place the eggplant, onion, garlic, peanuts, sesame, chili, and fish sauce in a salad bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of the garlic-infused oil and mix well. Garnish with cilantro. Like most garlicky things, this gets better after being refrigerated for a day. It seems to taste better at room temperature, too.