Eggplant with Dried Shrimp

Eggplant and Dried Shrimp 20170227 (5)

Is the eggplant a fruit or a vegetable?

The Oscars were being awarded. I never had the patience to sit through the red carpet event, knowing there would be no shortage of lists and articles in the mornings summarizing all I want to know and more. I was definitely out of the movie loop – I did not recognize most of the winners and nominees of even the main categories. However I did recognize the winner for Best Visual Effects, The Jungle Book! (Link to movie) Happy dance 💃 It’s a remake of the 1967 animated musical comedy and feature film based on Rudyard Kipling’s book which I had enjoyed as a kid. I imagined myself to be Mowgli, then I was Baloo, and Bagheera. Another time I would be Hathi. Sometimes, I was Nag or Raksha. In my conjured world, I would be nimble and strong, leaping from branches, resting in the highest boughs and running with wolves. I highly recommend the movie for a dose of family-friendly and healthy entertainment.  Had a date offered this on movie night, he would have earned some major points! But that’s in another lifetime 😜.

Eggplant and Dried Shrimp 20170227 (5)

Instead of being surprised with a dinner and a movie, I was having to feed hungry mouths. Ha! The feature ingredient in Eggplant with Dried Shrimp is the eggplant, or aubergine as it is more commonly known in UK, while in Asia and South Africa it is called brinjal. Deliciously umami, salty and sweet from the sauces, the green onions and chillis imparts sweetness and spiciness. All these flavors explode in the mouth while biting into varying textures. Lightly frying eggplants first makes the flesh tender and meaty all at once, while the skin remains slightly chewy.  Adding green onions and chillis only at the end keeps the tiny pieces crunchy.

Eggplant and Dried Shrimp 20170227 (4)-2Tips:

  • Go to any supermarket or farmers’ market and you will find an array eggplant varietals. Really any kind will do. Personally I think the deep purple ones makes for a nice center dish, though I imagine the white and purple-white skins would be quite attractive. Or mix them together! The green ones may not be as outstanding but might be a nice complement to the purples and whites. Share your pictures on Instagram and tag with #gingerandcilantro.blog. We’d like to see your creations too!
  • I have cut my eggplant into medium-sized wedges. I like the irregular shapes that result. You can also cut them into regular-sized strips.

Eggplant and Dried Shrimp 20170227 (5)

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Eggplant with Dried Shrimp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant, wedged
  • 3-4 Tbsp dried shrimp/small palmful, soaked
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chicken powder or salt
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 1-2 red chilli, thinly sliced on diagonal
Instructions
  1. Lightly fry eggplant in 6 Tbsp oil till slightly browned and softened. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Leave 1 Tbsp oil in the wok or pan. Stir-fry garlic till fragrant. Add drained shrimp and stir-fry till fragrant.
  3. Mix dark soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and chicken powder in ¼ cup of water.
  4. Add the eggplant and mixed sauce into the wok. Stir and simmer till liquid is halved
  5. Garnish with green onions and chilli.

 

3 easy ways to enjoy The Jungle Book:

Movie –  Ever since cutting the cord, we have been relying on the Fire TV for all our movie, TV series, documentaries and YouTube viewing. Alternatively, one of my other favorite devices to watch movies on-the-go is this 7″ Fire tablet.  It’s larger than my itty-bitty cellphone screen and works well for simple browsing and tablet needs when I don’t want to carry my laptop around.
Soundtrack – Echo connects seamlessly to our Amazon music and Audible books. I usually listen to music and books on either the Echo or the Dot while I am pottering around with housework, in the kitchen or simply relaxing.
Book – Read it on the lightweight Kindle Paperwhite. I have a few earlier versions of the e-reader and this is the one now always in my bag. It holds thousands of books and the battery lasts a month without recharging despite 2-3 hours of use a day. The basic Kindle is a lighter and cheaper device that is nearly as good with slightly less screen resolution.


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