Eggplant is often used as the mainstay of vegetarian dishes, its meaty texture being ultimately satisfying, and its mellow flavor a canvas (or sponge, more like it) for all manner of flavorings from a great many cultures. Take this Asian inspired dish, for instance, where eggplant is cooked with rice vinegar, bell peppers, soy sauce, and a tiny bit of sugar in a wok if you have one, otherwise a deep sided skillet.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 3 eggplants (cut in halves and then diagonally)
- 1 teaspoon white rice vinegar
- 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 1 orange bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- Heat the wok, and add the oil.
- When it starts smoking, saute the garlic until its aroma is released.
- Add the eggplant and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the vinegar.
- Lower the heat and let it cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the pieces of eggplant are tender and soft, add the peppers and stir.
- Add the soy sauce and sugar and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand for about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro.