Asian eggplants have tender skin and sweet flesh. Look for slender eggplants with a rich purple color and shiny skin, and without any soft or brown spots.
To add a pop of green color to the dish, I used a couple of green chili peppers for this recipe. Garlic chives (buchu) works really well with this dish as well. Sometimes, I also add a handful of mushrooms (oyster, king, or shiitake mushrooms). If you use more vegetables than the recipe calls for, be sure to add more seasoning.
This is a mild version seasoned with soy sauce. You can use a little bit of oyster sauce too if you have it. It will add another layer to the flavors.
1 medium Korean/Asian eggplant (2 small), about 200 grams
1/2 medium onion
2 small green chili peppers
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small thumb-size piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 rice wine
1 tablespoon corn syrup (Korean oligodang) or 1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Cut the eggplants lengthwise in half. Then cut diagonally into slices about three-quarters of a centimeter thick. Thinly slice the onion, and slice the chili peppers diagonally. Mix the soy sauce, rice wine, and corn syrup (or sugar) in a small ball.
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of cooking oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the eggplants and stir-fry, for a minute or two until they start to soften.
Stir in the sauce mix, and then add the peppers.
Continue to stir-fry until the eggplants are well coated with the seasoning and the pepper is slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat off. Drizzle the sesame oil over, and mix well again. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds to serve.
For more recipes, visit www.koreanbapsang.com.
By Ro Hyo-sun