This particular dish is Asian in spirit but doesn’t belong to any specific cuisine. It calls for the long, slender types of eggplant common to Japanese, or south-east Asian kitchens rather than the fatter, deep purple eggplants more familiar in the west. It could easily be served as a side dish as part of a more complex meal, or eaten alone as a snack or even a simple breakfast…
- 1 small Asian Eggplant;
- 3 Eggs;
- 1 cup Basil leaves, coarsely chopped;
- 1 tbsp. Cornstarch mixed to a slurry with a little water;
- 1 tbsp. Fish Sauce;
- 1 tsp. Sugar.
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice;
- 1 pinch Salt,
- 1 pinch White Pepper;
- 1 ½ tbsp. Vegetable Oil.
Slice the eggplant lengthwise and then across into half-moons about ½ an inch thick. Toss the pieces with lemon juice and salt.
Beat the eggs in a bowl together with the cornstarch slurry then stir in the sugar, fish sauce and white pepper. Set aside for the moment.
Heat the oil in a pan over moderately high heat then quickly sauté the eggplant pieces until they begin to turn golden.
Pour in the egg mix and scatter the basil over top of everything. Allow the eggs to just begin to set at the bottom of the pan for a few seconds and then begin to turn the mix very slowly, one area at a time, breaking the thickening egg mixture into fluffy ‘curds’. When the eggs are more or less completely set, turn the mix onto a plate or plates and serve immediately.
I served this batch as a side to some giant shrimp barbecued with a little chili oil and cumin. My wife really liked the eggs dish quite a lot but, while I thought the flavor was very nice, I wasn’t all that keen on the overall texture combination. This was an interesting idea but it will need some tweaking before it would be something to add to my repertoire.