Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thai Brussels Sprouts and Marinated Eggplant

These are the recipes I came up with for dinner last night. We try to eat a lot of vegetarian meals, for health and environmental reasons (and because we just like veggies), so this kind of spread is pretty typical for us. The Chinese eggplant has a wonderful texture and rich buttery flavor, so it's a particularly good meat substitute. If I'd had some, I would have also made a grilled tofu steak to bulk up the protein level of the meal. To that effect, I have a nice Nori Sesame Crusted Tofu recipe that I'll post sometime down the road. 

These measurements are basically what I used, but I usually cook things like this to taste, so feel free to add more or less of any of the ingredients to play up the flavors you like most!

Thai Brussels Sprouts 
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, leaves removed or finely chopped
One handful mint, chopped
One handful cilantro, chopped
juice of one lime
4 garlic cloves, minced finely
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced finely
½ small onion, sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
mild oil for frying

Prepare the Brussels sprouts by trimming and removing the leaves or slicing thinly. Place all the other ingredients in the bowl with the Brussels Sprouts and toss to combine.

Set a large wok or frying pan over high heat. When it's nice and hot, add a few teaspoons of oil and spread it around. Add the Brussels sprouts, tossing until they've wilted and begun to caramelize. 

Simple Marinated Chinese Eggplant 
3 long Chinese eggplants, sliced ½ inch thick on the diagonal 
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha or chili sauce, to taste
additional oil for sautéing

Toss the eggplant slices with the other ingredients. It's nice to then refrigerate them for at least a half hour before cooking but not necessary. When you are ready to cook, add a little sesame oil to a frying pan over medium/high heat and lay each slice flat so it can sear, about two minutes per side. Remove and serve hot.