This week's score at the farmers' market were a bunch of tiny little eggplants—all about the size of a small pickle. The proprietor said he preferred the taste of these smaller specimens, and that I would, too. Though they weren’t quite as long as the Japanese version, I knew that I’d have to look for my inspiration there, instead of from the mammoth, log-shape ones that take time to cook. And nothing says Asian flavor quite like Jacques Pepin.
All joking aside, the only real Asian flavor in this recipe is soy sauce, which probably makes this recipe as French as his accent. But it is good. I originally cooked these up as an appetizer but instead scarfed down the whole bowl before I even started the main event. It’s just another quick pick from Pepin’s Short-Cut Cook that manages to be suspiciously easy, even if it does look like a butch of slugs in a bowl.
- 3 tablespoons Canola oil
- 1 pound eggplant
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Preheat the broiler. Slice the eggplants into 1/2 inch strips. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and pour 2 tablespoons of the oil on top. Mix the eggplant with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the broiler. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until eggplant is nice and soft.
Mix together the minced garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and tabasco sauce.
Toss the eggplant in a large bowl, and dose with the sauce. It tastes good warm, but also surprisingly well at room temperature.