I bought some tiny, green, egg shaped eggplants at the local H-Mart. They were labeled "thai eggplant". I've had it stir fried in asian restaurants but have never cooked it myself. Any ideas?
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Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
I love them, but you should be prepared--they are more bitter than most other eggplants. They also have more seeds, but that doesn't bother me either. I'm kind of a traditionalist, so I tend to use them in Thai food--added to green curries, or stewed and sauced with a mix of fish sauce, a little sugar and some oyster sauce. (Actually the oyster sauce is not traditional Thai, but it's not exactly daring!) Even more, I love the teeny Thai pea-sized eggplants, but if you ever find them, beware--they're even more bitter.
@ greenstuff: The tiny bitter pea sized eggplants are usually sold salted, pickled & sundried (check out Indian grocery stores and ask for 'sundakkai'). they're then sauteed in ghee and incorporated into a tamarind based gravy in parts of southern India. The tamarind compensates for the bitterness. This is usually whats done in Indian dishes for the golf ball sized thai eggplants as well.
The fresh ones (this is something that not many people do anymore) apparently were slit & sauteed in Ghee, seasoned with salt & black pepper & served with rice.
Stir-fry them with some thinly sliced beef or pork and red curry paste, then add a few cups of stock, a good splash of fish sauce, a little sugar, and green beans. Simmer until tender and garnish with lots of basil. Yum!
Interesting, Panfusine! The ones I've bought have been from Thai and Cambodian shops here in the U.S. They've been fresh and came in clusters on the branch. I've added them whole to curries, just making sure not to add so many that they overwhelm the dish. Same plant, probably?
The tamarind sounds like a good idea. I always seem to have some but rarely think to use it.
wow, you got those here in the U.S?? I'd LOVE to find some! it is definitely the same plant for sure (the one time I spotted them was in the oriental store & my mother made it freshly sauteed). it is an acquired taste though, that deep bitterness.
@Panfusine, if I see them again, I'll be in touch! I had first had them in frozen Thai vegetable mixes from Trader Joe's. I'm not as big a fan of TJ's as a lot of people, after they stopped importing those mixes, I kept going back, hoping they'd appear. So when I first found the fresh ones, I loaded up a curry. And it was almost inedible! Disaster was averted, because I froze that curry in small packages and added to new ones in smaller doses. I don't get to those markets much, so I can't tell you if they have them regularly.
Hi Guys! Thanks for all the great ideas. I actually ended up using them to make eggplant and tomato curry from a recipe by Iluvcookbooks. I added chicken to bump up the protein and it was good. Although they tiny took forever to soften!
@Panfusine. If you live in the DC area, I got my thai eggplant at the H-Mart in Wheaton. They have quite the produce section. Check out the H-Mart website to see if there's a store near you: www.hmart.com
OMG!! I just discovered this store 2 weeks ago in Edison NJ, The only place where I found fresh Thai ginger (Galangal), Thanks so much Jillhum! this is priceless info! worthy of a foodpickle prize!