Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. Though, I have to admit that I haven’t been cooking it for a while. In Indonesia kitchen, eggplant is usually stir-fried with sambal/spicy chili sauce. The preparation is not very waist-friendly however. The eggplant is usually deep-fried before stir-frying. Oven is not a popular kitchen utility in most kitchen at home in Indonesia. My mom will usually steam the eggplants for a healthier version. Roasting the eggplant is another healthier way of preparing it. I find it much easier than deep-frying. You just pop the whole thing into the oven and don’t have to worry about greasy kitchen too much.
I have an absolute love for Thai food. Love how they incorporate fresh herbs, the salty, sour, sweet taste that work so well together. This roasted eggplants with basil is an inspiration of Thai cooking. It’s delicious and that basil just really kick it up a notch.
ROASTED EGGPLANTS WITH BASIL
- 1 lb purple eggplants cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 Tbsp of dried shrimps
- 1 small onion peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
- 2 Tbsp of oyster sauce
- 5 fresh red Thai chili seeded and cut into long thin slivers
- 1 Tbsp of store-bought red chili paste
- 1/2 cup of dry-roasted peanuts roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of loosely pack Thai basil or regular basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and more for drizzling
- Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F. Meanwhile soak the dried shrimp in warm water until soft. Drain off the water and roughly chop the shrimp
Place the cut eggplants on a baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle cooking oil over and toss to coat the eggplants. Place into the oven and bake the eggplants until they are tender, may take somewhere about 30 minutes or longer depending on your oven. Mine took almost 45 minutes
Preheat a wok or skillet until hot. Add in 2 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add in the dried shrimp and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add in the garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add in the onion and stir fry until soft. Add in the roasted eggplants, oyster sauce, red chili paste, and fresh chili. Saute for about 1 minute and have a taste and season with salt to your taste if needed.
Stir in the basil and sprinkled with some roasted peanuts and ready to be serve