Yes, this is another aubergine/eggplant recipe. As you have already known, I used to dislike aubergine/eggplant. Mainly because I have not tasted any great aubergine/eggplant dishes. Not until after I learn how to cook, only then I began to adore this wonderful vegetable. I am glad that I am able to rediscover it. All of the aubergine/eggplant recipes which I had shared with you lovely people are my personal favorites.
This recipe is no exception either. There is a bit of Italian and a few Japanese influences in this particular dish. That balsamic vinegar really amps up the whole dish. Not forgetting a chefy touch of liquid smoke which adds a layer of smokiness to the dish as well. The rest is just some culinary magic of combining some herbs and spices. I am literally drooling while typing. Do take note that some soy sauce brands are on a saltier side; always taste and adjust to your palate. I am using Kikkoman.
This is perfect over some rice or cauliflower couscous. Who shall say that vegan food is boring? Vegan food doesn't have to be raw Instagramic smoothie bowls. It can be so much broader than that. Before I drool even more, why don't we get started with the recipe?
Aubergines/Eggplants Halved and Wedged, 1
Sea Salt, Pinch
Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, For Cooking
Red Onion Thinly Sliced, 1
Black Pepper, Pinch
Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves
Nori Flakes, Pinch
Shichimi Togarashi/Japanese 7 Spice, Pinch
Liquid Smoke, 1 TSP
Balsamic Vinegar, 1.5 TBSP
Soy Sauce, 1.5 TBSP
Maple Syrup, 1.5 TBSP
English Mustard, 1 TSP
Cauliflower Couscous, 2 Servings
Parsley, For Garnishing
Red Chili Thinly Sliced, For Garnishing
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Please visit my "Couscous Sweet Potato Boats" page for the couscous recipe.
Rub the eggplant cut surface with some salt.
Set aside on a wire rack for about 15 mins.
This will draw out excess moisture from the eggplants.
Pad the eggplants dry with a kitchen paper.
In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.
Once the oil is heated up, add in onion and eggplant.
Season with salt and pepper.
Saute until the onion is slightly caramelized and the eggplant is browned on both sides.
Add in garlic.
Saute until aromatic.
Add in nori, Japanese 7 spice, liquid smoke, balsamic vinegar, soy, maple syrup and mustard.
Saute until well combined.
Add in water.
Stir to combine well.
Bring it up to a simmer and turn the heat down to low.
Continue simmering until the liquid has reduced by half and has become syrupy.
Saute to combine well.
Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat.
Serve with cauliflower couscous.
Garnish with some parsley and chili.