Burmese spicy eggplant

Updated: Jun 24

I love eggplant, especially if it is grilled or broiled. The process of broiling them, instead of deep frying them, makes them lighter and brings out the wonderful light flavors fo the vegetable, a fruit really, and charring them adds a wonderful smokiness to the dish. This eggplant is nor exception.

This recipe is quite simple to make and wonderful. The presence of the salty shrimp paste adds a a touch of umami to the dish that is delicious. The spices and the chilies add pop to the soft, delicate eggplant. Although I served this as a side with the Burmese garlic noodles, I could also have this as an appetiser. This fabulous cookbook is like bringing my favorite Burmese restaurant, Burma Superstar, in San Francisco, home. The recipes are amazing, and the photographs in the book mouthwatering. I love cooking from this cookbook for my Burmese fix.

For more recipes from this wonderful cookbook, click here.



Ingredients:

10-12 Japanese eggplants

Salt

Olive oil spray


4-5 tablespoons oil for garlic chips + 2-3 tablespoons oil

2 cups white onions, finely diced

3 tablespoons garlic, finely diced

1 tablespoon ginger paste

2-3 Thai red chiles, minced, or to taste

1 dried red chili

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup water

Fried garlic chips

Cilantro, minced for garnish

Lime wedges


For the fried garlic chips:

15-12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Oil


Start by broiling the eggplant. Slice the eggplants into half, and if very large half the length. Layer on a lined baking pan, spray with olive oil and broil in the oven till cooked and just beginning to char, about 5-7 minutes. You do not want them too mushy at this stage as they will disintegrate in the sauce. Remove and cool.


Next make the garlic chips by adding oil to a very small pot and heat on a low flame. Add the garlic slices and submerge into the oil, you may need to do this in two batches. Fry till the garlic slices are golden. Remove on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.


Heat the oil to a wok or saucepan and add the onions and sauté on medium low heat till soft but not browned, about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, Thai chili, dried chili and shrimp paste and sauté till cooked and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Take care to break up the shrimp paste into the sauce.

Add the turmeric and paprika and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the eggplant in and stir in very gently so as not to disintegrate the eggplants. Allow to cook on a low flame till almost dry and the oils are begging to rise to the surface. Season with fish sauce, give it one final turn to mix and take off the stove.

Serve in a bowl topped with the fried garlic chips and lime wedges on the side.


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