What a delightful dinner. Doesn’t this look tasty? It was. But what is that green stuff?
Everybody is familiar with the Aubergine eggplant that some consider American eggplant. Aubergines are bulbous, dark purple, dryer, spongy and more meaty eggplant. I use aubergines for timballo, for baba ghannouj, eggplant parmesan, among other tasty dishes. Then you have the lesser known Oriental eggplants. Oriental eggplants are long and narrow. They range in color from dark purple to lighter purple (leaning toward pink) and one variety with green hues. There are several varieties of Oriental eggplant, i.e. Chinese eggplant, Japanese eggplant, and Filipino eggplant. The Chinese eggplant is longer, more pink than purple, and is lighter in taste and texture with a mild bitter flavor. Japanese eggplant is very similar to Chinese eggplant and many confuse it for the latter. It is a dark purple color without the mild bitter flavor of the Chinese eggplant. It is sweeter and has more moisture than the Aubergine. Last, but not least, is the eggplant we used in this dish, Filipino eggplant. Filipino eggplants have a green hue that mutes the universal purple color associated with eggplant. It has very mild flavor that is sweet yet mildly bitter, and the softest of the eggplants. It is perfect for stir fries like this dish.
This dish came from Criss-cross Pan Fried Eggplant with some minor modifications because it sounded so darn good. We love eggplant and are always looking for new ways to fix it. This also is the second time we made it. We made it per the recipe the first time and, while very tasty, decided it needed a little modification. After making it twice, we have also reached the conclusion that scoring the eggplant is an utter waste of time. Regardless, this is one tasty meal that you definitely need to try. In fact, Baby Lady says to let you know this is one incredibly flavorful meal that would be her “go to eggplant dish,” especially if she wanted Asian food. It’s quick, simple and perfect for weeknight meals. Here’s what we did.
- 1-1/2 lb Filipino eggplant
- 8 oz. ground pork
- 1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp garlic chives, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce, split
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cups oil
- 2 green Thai chiles, thinly sliced
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise,
then score the eggplant 1/4 inch deep in a criss-cross pattern and cut into 2 inch long segments.
Scoring the eggplant takes a little time and adds nothing to the dish flavor-wise, cooking-wise, or aesthetic-wise that we could see. As such, we will omit it when we make it again and we will make this dish again. It’s a real keeper.
Put the ground pork into a mixing bowl and add 2 Tbsp soy sauce.
Add the white pepper
mix to incorporate
Add oil to heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat and, when hot, place eggplant flat side down.
Add sea salt
When browned, roughly 3 minutes, turn and cook on the other side.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add Thai chiles to remaining oil in skillet and fry to flavor the oil.
Remove chiles from oil and discard.
Add onions to the skillet and sauté until softened, roughly 2 minutes
Now, add the garlic
Add pork mixture and cook until done
Return eggplant to skillet
Add remaining 2 Tbsp soy sauce.
and brown sugar
When the eggplants have reheated through, add the garlic chives
Serve & enjoy.