Chinese eggplant

I hear this was delicious when I made it last Sunday night. I wouldn’t know, since halfway through making it, I went to get a plate out of the cabinet, a jar fell out, I tried to catch the jar, and I ended up at the ER getting five stitches in my left pinky. (Think glass torpedo.) So here’s the recipe. And if a glass jar starts to fall out of the cabinet onto your soapstone countertop, take my advice: run. The ER in July is soooo hot and crowded.



  • 4 Chinese eggplants (those long, thin purple ones, but feel free to substitute any other kind of eggplant so that you end up with about 3-4 cups of eggplant)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil (Thai is best, but the regular kind is fine, too)
  • 10 or so garlic scapes, or if you don’t have scapes, 3-4 cloves of garlic



  1. First get your basil chopped up, and also chop up the garlic scrapes into 1/4 inch pieces. (If you’re using garlic cloves, chop up the garlic roughly to the size of peas.) Please make sure these ingredients are dry before you cut them up. Wet ingredients offend me, unless they are going into soup.

  2. Then wash and dry the eggplant, take off the ends and discard, and cut the eggplant into chunks that are about 1/2 inch in thickness and not more than an inch across.

  3. Immediately (before the eggplant browns) pour 1/2 cup oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet, dump in the eggplant, and stir it all around. If any eggplant looks dry, add more oil until it all looks well saturated.

  4. Turn on the heat to about medium-high and cook the eggplant for about 4 minutes.

  5. Add the soy sauce, stir, and cook for 2 more minutes.

  6. Throw in the garlic or scapes and stir.

  7. Keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is nicely browned. (If the eggplant really starts to stick, give it more oil.)

  8. Toss in the sugar and basil, stir well, and cook for 1 more minute.

As I said when I posted kohlrabi with garlic scapes: No trans fat! No cholesterol! But not exactly low-fat.


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