14 June 2016

Eggplant Asian Stir Fry

School has been out for both of us for a few weeks. Most people assume that for teachers like us, summer time means days filled with lounging around and cocktails. That's hardly the case. Shana's picked up two summer-only part time jobs, I've been doing committee work and catching up, and we've both been busy with projects at our house. For example, I've been gardening, Shana's been clearing our old patio, and we've been discussing which projects come next. Shana's also been coaching a 3rd & 4th grade softball team, which has meant about 3 evening games per week.

All this activity has meant that we haven't actually seen each other as much as we would like. To remedy that, we decided to have a date day in Indianapolis. We had a great time! We met a friend for drinks, had a great dinner, and went to a game. We also did errands. I know what you're thinking: "Errands?! On a date??!!" Yes. Errands. But the errands totally worked out in Shana's favor, as I purchased an awesome magazine full of recipes. We've tried two recipes to great success already.

This particular recipe has Shana's name written all over it. It's full of Asian flavors and contains eggplant. Shana loves eggplant. I'm only...meh... about eggplant. Luckily, this recipe also includes green beans, which are my absolute favorite vegetable. Because both Shana and I were predisposed to like this recipe, I'm happy to say that we also had friends over who enjoyed it. This is a winner of a recipe all around!

Eggplant Asian Stir Fry
Adapted from a recipe in the Best Ever Vegan Cookbook magazine by Vegetarian Times.

1 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. black bean & garlic sauce (optional, but worth it)
1 1/2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
2 T. water
1 very large purple eggplant, cut into one inch cubes
10 oz. green beans, cut in large bite-size pieces
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
2 green onions, chopped, white/light green parts separate from dark green
1/2 c. roasted cashews
3 tsp. canola oil, separated
toasted sesame oil

1. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, black bean sauce, vinegar, sriracha, and water in a jar with a tight fitting lid or bowl, shaking or stirring well to combine.
2. Pour 1 tsp. canola oil and a bit of toasted sesame oil into a wok over medium-high heat, then add 1/2 of the eggplant. Stir fry until eggplant pieces are softened, but not falling apart (5ish minutes). Put the cooked eggplant in a heat-proof bowl.
3. Repeat step two with the rest of the eggplant.
4. Pour the last of the canola and a bit more toasted sesame oil into the wok and add the green beans. Stir fry, adding 1-2 T. water to steam, until beans have gotten bright green and are starting to get tender. Add the white/light green parts of the green onions and garlic, and stir fry another 2 minutes.
5. Add the eggplant, cashews, and sauce to the wok, continuing to cook until the sauce has cooked down a bit and the eggplant and cashews are hot.
6. Garnish with the rest of the green onions.

Helpful Hints
  • Because you let the sauce cook down AND because roasted cashews are usually salted, I highly recommend using low-sodium soy sauce. To be honest, it's the only soy sauce we use. Speaking of soy sauce, if you use gluten-free tamari (soy sauce), this is a gluten-free dish. 
  • As you are cooking the eggplant, you can sprinkle in a bit of kosher salt to help draw out the water. It's not necessary, though. I've cooked this dish sprinkling and not sprinkling the kosher salt and couldn't really tell a difference. 
The post "Eggplant Asian Stir Fry" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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