Cultivated all through Asia for 1000’s of years, eggplants are available many shapes, sizes, and names.
Curiously, in Italian, it’s known as melanzana, which morphed into“mela insana” or“mad apple” in English, which is a nod to the thirteenth century beliefs that eggplants had been extraordinarily toxic and will trigger madness.
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Whereas it’s true that eggplant leaves and flowers might be poisonous when you eat them in giant quantities, eggplants are extraordinarily nutritious with a ton of well being advantages.
The right way to Choose Eggplants
I additionally needed to level out that we’re utilizing Chinese language eggplants for this recipe. My dad prefers them as a result of they’re much less bitter and have much less seeds than different kinds of eggplants. This recipe nonetheless works with the broader, fatter kinds of eggplants, with some small changes that we speak about later.
My mother and father speak about this in nice element all through our recipe video, however listed here are among the issues they search for:
- brighter pores and skin
- skinny, slender (not thick)
- ought to be simple to bend, not agency
- easy floor
Must you salt your eggplants?
Salting eggplants was a factor centuries in the past when eggplants had been rather more bitter. These days, salting doesn’t actually have any noticeable impact on bitterness, as a result of eggplants have been bred to be rather more gentle in style.
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Nonetheless, when you’re frying them, salting eggplants does seem to assist take away some extra moisture as a consequence of osmosis. The salt additionally helps break down among the fibers, leading to a extra creamy texture.
On this recipe, my dad goes for a barely firmer texture. When you’re on the lookout for extra of that restaurant-style creamy really feel, take a look at Kenji’s video the place he goes into a number of element about his course of, osmosis, and his personal model of this recipe.
Alternate options to Oyster Sauce
When you’re vegetarian or must steer clear of gluten, we’ve got three options for you!
Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
Since oyster sauce is made out of oyster extract, listed here are some options which have an identical style with out utilizing the precise oyster:
- Kikkoman Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
Gluten Free Oyster Sauce
Wok Mei has a gluten-free oyster sauce, nevertheless it nonetheless comprises oyster extract, so it is not vegetarian pleasant.
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Vegetarian + Gluten Free Oyster Sauce
Sadly, we do not know of a vendor that sells an oyster sauce that caters to each dietary restrictions, so you will must DIY the sauce.
Combine equal components gluten free soy sauce and gluten free hoisin sauce. This is not precisely the identical as oyster sauce, nevertheless it’s fairly shut.
Discovering Asian Components
A few of these elements are exhausting to search out in a typical grocery retailer.
When you do not reside close to an Asian market, most or all of what my dad makes use of on this recipe might be discovered on Amazon:
- Kikkoman Sesame Oil – https://geni.us/kkmsesameoil
- Kikkoman Soy Sauce – https://geni.us/kkmsoysauce
- Kikkoman Tamari – https://geni.us/kkmtamari
- Kikkoman Oyster Sauce – https://geni.us/kkmoystersauce
- Shaoxing Cooking Wine
- Floor Bean Sauce
- Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (soak for 15-20 minutes in heat water earlier than slicing)
I’ve additionally included another Chinese language kitchen necessities, utilized in a lot of my dad’s different recipes.
- Michiu Rice Cooking Wine
- Lao Gan Ma Chili Oil
- Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce
- Bullhead Shacha (BBQ Sauce)
- Dried Orange Peels
- Dried Wooden Ear Fungus (just a few choices, relying on what’s in inventory):
These hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks, which signifies that when you use our hyperlinks to buy these elements, Amazon pays my household a small quantity for the sale – at no further value to you. When you use these hyperlinks, we actually respect the help!
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