Foodie Friday: Eggplant with Basil

Eggplant with basil: fried eggplant with aromatic spices

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this before, but one of my favorite vegetable dishes involves eggplant. The heady mixture of sweet (brown sugar?) and savory (ginger) always delights me. Although this is often served spicy, I like it only mildly hot and more garlicky. It’s usually a beautifully presented dish because of the vivid purple of the eggplant against the earthier tone of the brown sauce. I’ve tried multiple times to get the texture right–the eggplant needs to be tender but yet crisped on the outside. (My cousin in Taiwan says I just need to add more oil, but I’m not so sure about that!) I did find a blog post with tips on making the “perfect eggplant”–maybe I should try it out!

Here’s a recent eggplant dish I ordered from a local restaurant. I love the addition of the mushrooms, which adds to both the texture and the umami-ness.

Chinese eggplant with basil and mushrooms, topped with sesame seeds, cilantro, and stir-fried onions
There is eggplant buried underneath all the onions, cilantro, etc.!
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  1. I love eggplant, and yet I don’t cook it often. I did buy one today. I’m going to use it in a West African peanut stew.

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