Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan

Eggplant Asian Salad

Loreto January 31, 2017

Eggplant Asian Salad, defining simplicity in its natural easy preparation and purest flavors, with high notes of juicy broiled Asian eggplants and a spicy vinaigrette that will tantalize your taste buds beyond belief.

Eggplant Asian Salad

Eggplant Asian Salad,  a recipe that touches on texture, taste and follows the rule “simple is best”, adapted from a recipe found in “Phoenix Claws and Jade trees” by Kian Lam Kho, one that we chose for this month’s challenge of  “Around the world in 12 plates”.

 

 

Eggplant, Asian ones that is, is one of those vegetables that is in the either you like it or you don’t category, I feel. For us, Nicoletta and I, it is a vegetable that graces our fridge quite often, and are always looking for new ways to feature this wonderful, uniquely tasting veggie. When I first saw the idea that had for a feature on international and cultural recipes, called “around the world in 12 plates” and it being Asian, I wanted in. Ever since I could remember, being fascinated with culture and demographics has been a huge passion and interest. Later in life when I was faced with a life-altering experience my search for inner peace and understanding took me to many different cultures and traditions, which led me to experience many wonderful and delicious dishes. One experience I will never forget carries that energy into creating this Eggplant Asian Salad!

There is an organization here called All Faith, I heard through the grapevine that there was to be a celebration taking place at one of our large venue buildings. One that would mark a moment of peace in a somewhat chaotic world. I was so curious and intrigued, that I made it my commitment to go. The experience was surreal, here you had faiths from all over the world celebrating together in one building. Not one overpowering the other, and a respect that I can only tell you had me crying several times. Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindu, new age, Indian, etc, etc, all under one roof. The singing, chanting, dancing, people holding hands, hugging, it was truly amazing. It ended with everyone partaking in a round dance. A tradition brought to us by the Native community. I had tears running down my face and I remember looking at this elderly lady right across for me crying also, and our thoughts were unison, for one moment in our lives, we had witness the beauty of unity. I felt as though the concrete was fading and it was becoming soft. The movement of thousands of people hand in hand, moving together, an experience I will take with me forever. So understand that if anyone has a round up or post that would involve culture and world recipes, I would be the one whole hearted in line to be a part of it.

Let’s go to a household in China and understand the makings of Eggplant Asian Salad!

Eggplant Asian Salad

As you already are aware of, Nicoletta and I love going to the Asian market here T&T. There is so much to see and so much to learn of all the products, unusual spices, dried vegetables, and unique ingredients, that we spend a lot of time in each isle looking, reading, in awe at such a wonderful pallet of textures, colors and flavors. This particular trip was to get the ingredients for this Eggplant Asian Salad. Asian eggplant, green onion, etc, but as always many other things ended up in the basket, plus a few shrimp rolls and tempura shrimp for a mid afternoon snack, as we got hungry there, who could help that with the aroma of the kitchen cooking up a storm. It was packed with people and many buying special items to celebrate the Chinese New Year, beautiful lanterns and figures hanging, that vibrant red color enticing you into a playfulness. I love the sweets, and many savoury dishes that will grace the tables of many Asian and not so Asian families. The year of the Rooster, for those of you that are this Chinese zodiac sign, it is your year, wish well and enjoy!

Eggplant Asian Salad

The reason I chose this recipe is because it is truly authentic cuisine and tradition. It features the eggplant as the star of the show in a most natural and simplistic way. Kian Lam Kho and his cookbook Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees illustrates and takes us on a wonderful journey of authentic Chinese cooking. We did not have all the ingredients for his recipe but used similar ingredients to achieve a somewhat similar result. The process is quite easy: the eggplants are broiled in a nice hot oven on a roasting pan, then cooled, peeled and cut very artistically to preserve their shape. A very spicy and flavorful dressing is made with various ingredients such as sesame and chili oil, chinkiang black vinegar, ginger and garlic, for all the ingredients you will have to check out the recipe. The combination of that eggplant and the drizzling of this vinaigrette is absolutely stunning and delicious.

Eggplant Asian Salad

Nicoletta and I dove right into this dish. The soft velvety texture of the eggplant melting in our mouths, so beautifully flavored by the vinaigrette. Hits of garlic, ginger, the toasted hints of the sesame oil and pungent black vinegar, brought down a notch with the little bit of sugar that went in. Green onion pleasing our taste buds at every turn, along with that peppery nature of the parsley all these ingredients working in harmony and balance to make the eggplant shine in all its glory, kind of like that round dance, almost brings a tear to my eye….

Enjoy!

Thanks to  Gabby Peyton The Food Girl in Town, for creating and including us in Around the World in 12 Plates, so grateful for being a part of it!

Song of the day: “Creep” by Radio Head.

Eggplant Asian Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 2 servings

Eggplant Asian Salad

Ingredients

    Eggplant:
  • 3 Asian eggplants
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 red chili slivered
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinkiang black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minces green onion
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

    Eggplant:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Wash, dry and place Asian eggplant on a broiling pan, with drip catch.
  3. Place in oven on a higher rack and broil for 8 minutes.
  4. Turn eggplant and put back into oven for another 8 minutes. You will notice the skin is wrinkled and blistered.
  5. Take out of oven and set aside to cool.
  6. Vinaigrette:
  7. In a saute pan toss in black peppercorns. Toss on med to high heat making sure to shake pan so peppercorns get nice and toasted.
  8. Pour in vegetable oil into pan with peppercorns and turn heat to low and saute for 10 minutes.
  9. Strain oil into a heat safe mixing bowl using a strainer and throw peppercorns away.
  10. In the oil add sesame oil, soy sauce, chili oil, minced garlic, ginger and green onion,chili flakes, Chinkiang black vinegar, and blend with a whisk.
  11. Finally add sugar and whisk again til well blended. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  12. Plating:
  13. Take eggplant and starting at the end peel skin upwards to the stem till all the skin is off, leaving the stem in place.
  14. Cut eggplant starting from end of the stem and down the middle. Place on plate.
  15. Repeat this process with the other two eggplants.
  16. Whisk dressing again and drizzle over eggplant.
  17. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion, and chopped fresh parsley.
  18. Ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

If you don't like too much spice you can moderate the amount of chili flakes and chili oil.

Make sure you check the rest of the amazing fellow bloggers that met the challenge for “Around the World in 12 Plates, China”.

Korena in the Kitchen: http://wp.me/p5z1Ak-2rL  

The Food Girl in Town: http://thefoodgirlintown.com/2017/01/30/around-the-world-in-12-plates-china

Eggplant Asian Salad

Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products we normally purchase, or places and blogs we like.  

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34 Comments

  • Reply Kathy January 31, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Delicious-sounding variation! Have made Kian Lam Kho’s Eggplant Salad recipe from Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees and loved it, as well as several others in his amazing cookbook.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 31, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Kathy, Yes an amazing cook book with lots of very delicious dishes. I like his simplicity and natural way of presenting foods.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Loreto

  • Reply Kelly Ohnona January 31, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    This looks delicious! Looking forward to try this recipe!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 31, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Kelly, You are going to love this salad, get your taste buds ready, they are in for a ride! Thanks for taking the time to check out our post. Take a look at the other bloggers recipes in this Around the World in 12 plates. Absolutely Amazing!.
      Cheers
      Loreto

  • Reply Bernice January 31, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    How beautiful, Loreto, that you were able to experience such a connection. It is especially poignant when you consider recent events. I myself have felt the need to take a step back and reconnect with the good in the world.
    Great choice for the China challenge, I love the pictures too!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 1, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Hi Bernice, I know there are things that are a bit a miss in the world, but I try to concentrate on the great things to balance that scale. Cooking gives me that also because it is such a passionate thing if you so choose it to be. I am with you on connecting with the good in the world and for the lunch break this wonderful eggplant salad. Each culture has so much to offer!
      Have a peaceful joyous week!
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Korena January 31, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Oh gosh… I admit that I’ve never liked eggplant very much, but reading your description of this dish has my mouth watering!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 1, 2017 at 7:03 am

      Korena, I am honored that I may have you liking eggplant. When I write about food I share my experience in the visuals, aromas, and flavors, and I am happy that you connected to it and it made your mouth water. This means whatever I am doing is working. It’s hard as we are mostly in the virtual world. Years ago people were more in physical interaction and there was body language, voice fluctuation, eye contact. It is a whole new world. Thank you for your lovely comment, I am truly grateful!
      Have a great cooking week!
      Loreto

  • Reply Adina February 1, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I love eggplants, but I have never eaten them cooked this way. Totally original for me, and something I would really like to try. You’re so lucky to have an Asian market nearby, the closest to us is 60 km away…

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 1, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Adina, yes we feel fortunate to have all these cultural markets. Edmonton has come a long way in that regard. I had never had Eggplant like this either, We were so pleased with the results! Thank you for commenting, and have a wonderful day!
      Loreto

  • Reply Annika February 2, 2017 at 8:47 am

    As an eggplant lover, any recipe that features eggplant is sure to catch my attention. Chinese eggplants are my favoured as well as roasting for the cooking method, but strangely enough, I have never heard of this Asian dish. Judging by the ingredients, it seems delicious and of course your photos are just making me drool!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices February 11, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Annika, thank you. This cook book we received Pheonix Claws and Jade trees is amazing. Real traditional home Asian dishes that are so easy, just like this Asian eggplant recipe. It was my first time to bake eggplant like that, and I am hooked. Loved the meatiness of the eggplant and that bit of char so accented the dressing. Can’t wait to have this again.
      Have a beautiful Saturday!
      Loreto

  • Reply Dana February 3, 2017 at 9:06 am

    This looks *so* incredibly scrumptious! I keep meaning to buy some of these eggplants to make something like this, but whenever I see them at the market I’m always on some other mission and brush it off for next time. I need to get on it!

    Lovely work as always.

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices February 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you Dana, such a lovely comment. I am a big fan of these eggplants. Less seeds, and more of that tasty eggplant. Great for stir fries, and in this salad baked, a bit of charred was so flavorful with the dressing and what a kick to this dish!
      Happy Eggplant Cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply Colleen Milne February 3, 2017 at 9:44 am

    What a beautiful experience that sounds like! In these times, it’s lovely to read about something so unifying and positive. I adore eggplant, and every year I grow it and constantly am on the lookout for new recipes. My husband, unfortunately hates it. It’s the only food he dislikes, but I drive him crazy with trying new ways with it to change his mind, ha ha. Maybe this will be the one! 🙂

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices February 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Colleen, thank you for commenting, I here you on the eggplant saga. There are some people who just don’t like this vegetable, but Nicoletta and I will keep creating more eggplant dishes in hopes of changing your husbands mind. If not more for us to eat, lol.
      Have a wonderful day, keep us posted!
      Loreto

  • Reply Justine @ JustineCelina.com February 3, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I’m so intrigued by this recipe! I also love to visit T&T here in Calgary, though it’s on the other side of the city for me so I don’t make the trip as often as I’d like. These Asian eggplants on my radar for my next visit! Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with us and have a great weekend.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Justine, I love sharing it is what life for me is all about, learning about each other through our experiences and celebrating those moments with lovely food. I love the look of this dish, and so so enjoyed the flavors. Maybe T&T will expand and open a few more locations like they did hear in Edmonton. Here’s to wishful thinking.
      Have a great weekend!
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Kellie MacMillan February 3, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    This recipe sounds divine, such a great list of ingredients. I love how you describe the taste and flavors. I admit that most of my culinary attempts with eggplant have not turned in to something I’m excited about, but I think I’d like to try the asian variety. I see them when I shop but never have a recipe to pair, not the case now. I’ve made it a goal to try more new foods this year so you will be helping me with that too, as well as with an inspiring recipe.
    Kellie from Princess & The Yard Ape

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 3, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you Kellie, I love inspiring people so I feel honored that you feel that way. I am excited for you to try this eggplant dish. Would love to hear how you made out. Next time you are at the market grab a few of these Japanese eggplant and get cooking.
      Have a great weekend!
      Cheers
      Loreto

  • Reply Sean February 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I love this. I’ve eaten a whole lot of Asian eggplant over the years (like you, I find that people are pretty split on eggplant liking, but I think that Asian recipes are some of the easiest ones to get into). That being said, I’ve never eaten like this with the long/intact strips. I’m very familiar with all the flavours (I love Chinkiang vinegar) and I can almost picture how this must taste, and I’m betting it’s awesome. Great job, and I can’t wait to see some of the recipes from other bloggers too. Cheers!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 3, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Sean , thanks for commenting. I know you love Asian dishes and this will definitely be one you are going to enjoy. For me I loved the presentation of the eggplant almost in its natural form. The dressing packed such a wow factor also.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Cheers
      Loreto

  • Reply Agness of Run Agness Run February 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I love Asia and I try to incorporate more of their cuisine in my cooking. This recipe is on my list, Loreto!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Thanks Agnes, Asian cuisine is one that is close to my heart. Can’t wait for you to try this, get your taste buds ready!
      Always cooking.
      Loreto

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    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Donna, I will review you site and then let you know, thanks for your interest in our blog.
      Loreto

  • Reply Karen (Back Road Journal) February 5, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’m one of the people who loves Asian Eggplant…it has almost a sweet taste that I like and cooks so meltingly tender. Your dish sounds wonderful with its flavorful vinaigrette.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 5, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks Karen. Yes the Asian eggplant has less seeds, which makes it so succulent and sweet. The incredible flavors of the dressing just embrace the eggplant so well. Broiling the eggplant which was a first for me, has me hooked, the char adds that smoky element which again elevates this dish to outer space. I enjoyed this recipe so much, thanks to Kian Lam Kho, and his wonderful cook book.
      Have a wonderful Sunday evening.
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Jacqui Bellefontaine February 17, 2017 at 5:57 am

    ohhh Yum I love egg plant or aubergine as its called in the UK. Currently they are hard to get hold of due to poor weather conditions in Spain but as soon as they are back I shall have to make this.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Jacqui, Yes who ever invented or came up with eggplant is a genius. The texture, flavor and versatility of this vegetable is amazing and I always get excited when I see it at the market. My creative mind always at work to highlight this beauty. Thanks for stopping by, and here’s to wishing Spain warm weather, so you can get some eggplant or aubergine soon.
      Have a lovely weekend.
      Loreto

  • Reply The Simple, Sweet Life February 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve never cooked with eggplant but have always wanted to. I guess I never found a recipe that really intrigued me… Until now, that is! I can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 20, 2017 at 5:15 am

      Hi Claire, we are so glad to inspire you to use eggplant. You will enjoy this dish I am sure. It has so much flavor and the technique of roasting the eggplant gives it an amazing flavor. I also like the presentation keeping the eggplant whole, very natural and beautiful! Thank you for commeting we really appreciate it, and Happy Cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply vintagekittycom February 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I have a major crush on anything eggplant and Asian! The hubby isn’t a fan, but about the only way he will eat it is if its an Asian dish, preferably with some heat.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 24, 2017 at 4:50 am

      Hello Kitty, thank you for your comment. We are a select few that are a part of the eggplant revolution. I think if you made this Eggplant Asian Salad for your husband he may just like it. It has such a great flavor and the heat that he may like. Baking the eggplant gave it a bit of smokiness which pairs well with the sesame oil. Nicoletta and I loved it, we hope that you two do too.
      Have a wonderful weekend
      Ciao for now!
      Loreto

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