In an attempt to (i) live a healthier life, and (ii) save money, I am always in the hunt for new vegetable recipes. One of my vegetable obsession nowadays is eggplant. Eggplant is not my favorite vegetable — in fact, I almost hate it, especially when the fruit is too ripe and it has lots of seeds already. The only time I was able to love an eggplant dish was when my mother made tortang talong using small organic eggplants from our town’s TESDA garden. That dish was delicious, so now I am obsessed with eggplants. Eggplants are quite versatile. In the Philippines, aside from tortang talong, they can be used as extenders for meat, in soups, and in salads. Eggplants are low fat but they also contain almost no nutritional value.
Anyhow, back to my search for new vegetable recipes… I love donburis, so I attempted to replicate one using eggplants.
Make sure the eggplants are thinly sliced so that they cook fast. I also learned, by trial, to peel off the skin because they don’t cook fast and I ended up eating medium raw eggplants. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not, but I didn’t like the taste. Also, make sure there are no excess water in the eggplant slices so that the breading would stick well. For the breading, I used an egg, cornstarch and oatmeal. The oatmeal was an accidental addition because I thought I had panko, but I didn’t have any. The oatmeal turned out to be great because it was crispy and was a little burnt, which I loved. After frying all slices (I didn’t deep-fry), I cooked a sauce of garlic, onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and chili flakes. When the sauce was simmering, I added the eggplant slices although I think there would be no need. My eggplant slices though were a bit raw near its skin (see above tip) so I cooked them with the sauce for a little while. I love green onions, so I added a heaping, both in the sauce and after the dish was cooked. This was delicious topped with a bowl of steamed rice (rice is vegetarian, right?). 😀