Friday, March 16, 2012

Crispy eggplant salad

I had watched the entire Kimchi chronicles on PBS with Marja Vongerichten, when it first aired and since then have wanted to make some Korean inspired vegetarian food. So, finally I went and bought Annie Chun’sGochujang sauce which is a sweet and spicy version of the essential spicy Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt. Gochujang is traditionally used to flavor stews as well as a condiment for bibimbap.  This Annie Chun version is very versatile and can be used as condiment, marinade   Looking at all the vegetables in my refrigerator, eggplants seemed like a perfect choice to use this sauce with.

Eggplants are normally associated with a soft and mushy texture, but this salad is made with crisp eggplants without being deep fried and tossed with a fresh spicy, sweet and tangy sauce. The addition of the chopped scallions lends some freshness to the dish. I have used the dressing very sparingly since I didn’t want the eggplant to be smothered in it, but feel free to adjust the amount of dressing based on your preference.

Crispy Eggplant salad
2 medium sized long purple eggplants
2 tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon kochujang
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice  vinegar
2 tablespoon finely sliced scallions (approx 1 scallion)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a rack on the lowest setting in the oven and one rack in the middle. Place two 8 x 12 baking sheets in the lower rack of the oven to preheat as well. Once the oven has pre-heated, leave the racks in the oven for another 10 minutes, till they are really hot.
  2. Slice the eggplants into ¼ inch thick slices.
  3. Remove the trays from the oven and spread 1 tablespoon canola oil on each of the trays. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer.  Place the tray in the lowest rack of the oven for 10 minutes. The eggplant should be golden brown on one side. Turn the slices and move the tray to the middle rack for 5 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, make the dressing by mixing the kochujang, with rice vinegar, and soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.
  5. Once the eggplant is ready, remove to a serving bowl. Add the dressing and toss lightly. Sprinkle with the chopped scallions and serve either warm or at room temperature.
 Serves 2

You might also like the Chinese Eggplant salad

1 comment:

  1. Delish! The dressing danced on my palate. Really great balance of tastes against the bland canvas of the eggplant.
    Preheating the pan in the oven before putting on the eggplant slices was a good tip.