I’m excited to share this Asian eggplant and mushroom recipe with you! It’s been a little while since I last shared a recipe, over three months actually. Time has flown by, and lots has changed. But here I am, sharing another delicious recipe with you.
The reason I stopped writing recipes was that I was feeling a little overwhelmed with them. Every time it was my turn to write content, and we were due to put up a recipe, I felt completely paralysed. It took me a while to realise that I should just take a step back and let recipes come naturally to me rather than forcing them into existence.
So moving forward there will be fewer recipes but the ones that I do share, I promise will be worth the wait. If there is something, in particular, you would like me to focus on (easy throw together dinners, soups, stews, using specific ingredients etc.), let me know and I’ll incorporate it in.
This recipe, Asian eggplant and mushroom with garlic-tamari sauce came to me one evening as I was in the kitchen planning dinner. I was really stuck for ideas and asked my mum before she left what to make. She gave me a handful of suggestions, which I turned down. My poor mum.
As soon as she left and I looked in the fridge, it clicked. I’m one of those cooks that looks at what’s in the pantry and fridge and makes something. I very rarely follow recipes. I do though like experimenting, so I might get the general idea of a particular dish from a few different sources and then make my own.
One thing that I have followed a recipe for recently was learning how to make tofu. As I’m trying to transition to a zero-waste lifestyle, I’m looking at all the things that I cook with and am trying to make as much of it myself as I can. I used this recipe to make tofu in the last couple of weeks, and it surprised me how simple it was! Yes, there are a few steps to it, especially making the soy milk, but I batch soaked and shelled them, so I made two tofus over a week period. All you need is soybeans (which I bought from my bulk shop), water and lemon juice!
Since I was experimenting with more Asian foods, I was inspired to try making my favourite dish that I have when Michael and I go out. I don’t like mock meat at this particular restaurant pretty much the only option left (besides just plain rice and veg) is their eggplant clay pot. I wanted to create something similar at home and make the sauce a healthier alternative to the ones you get in restaurants.
- ¼ cup sesame oil (preferably toasted)
- 2 inch fresh ginger piece, sliced thin
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 eggplants, sliced into bite sized pieces, skins on
- 200gr button mushrooms, cut into wedges (this is around 6 mushrooms)
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp powdered kuzu (dissolved in a small amount of water)
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
- 1-2 red chillies, sliced thin, deseeded if you don’t like hot food
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Cooked jasmine rice for the amount of people you are serving
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium to high heat. Add the ginger, one of the chillies and garlic and fry until they become fragrant.
- Add in the eggplant and toss well.
- When the eggplant starts to brown a little, add in the mushrooms. Put the lid on fully and reduce heat.
- After 5 minutes, add in the tamari, sugar and kuzu mixture* with an additional 1 cup of water. You will notice that the sauce will start to thicken after a minute or so. Simmer on low until the eggplant is cooked, keeping the lid on and stirring every couple of minutes.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, add in half the scallions, toss and take off heat.
- When serving, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, rest of scallions and chilli to taste and serve with jasmine rice.
*If you really want it to be garlicky, add in 1 tbsp garlic powder in the kuzu mixture.
If using a low-sodium tamari or soy sauce and you think it’s under seasoned, add some salt to taste.
If you’re wondering what kuzu is, you can learn about it here. If you don’t have access to it, you can alternatively use cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca flour.
This isn’t a typical way to make an Asian style eggplant dish, but if you don’t have a wok or want to prep the eggplant before, this is the easiest way to achieve a similar result. I like it when the eggplant starts to fall apart a little, the melt in your mouth texture is what we’re going for. Hope you enjoy it!