Coconut Milk-Braised Eggplant with Shiitakes and Scallions

April  3, 2018
9 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Most braises are low-and-slow—this one is low-and-fast. And it just happens to be vegan. I borrowed inspiration from Alexandra Stafford, who borrowed inspiration from Julia Turshen: Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk . I like this best served with rice, but warm, pillowy flatbread would be perfect, too. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Make This 30-Minute Braise When There's No Time for Low & Slow —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 graffiti eggplants (about 175 grams each, 5 to 6 inches in length)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 pinches kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or Microplaned
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mustard (preferably Colman’s), plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups sliced shiitakes
  • 7 scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup barely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup barely chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup barely chopped mint
  1. Halve the eggplants lengthwise. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a cast-iron Dutch oven and set over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, flat side facing down, and sear until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Flip, season the tops generously with salt, then brown for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, cumin, turmeric, mustard, coriander, black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the shallot is starting to slouch and the spices are super fragrant. Add the shiitakes and a pinch of salt. Stir. Cook for a minute or so until wilted. Add the scallions and a pinch of salt. Stir. Cook for a minute or so until wilted. Add the coconut milk. Stir. Add back the eggplant pieces, flat side facing down. Adjust the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, then flip the eggplant and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes, or until tender. Season with more salt and mustard to taste.
  3. Just before serving, garnish with the herbs.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Elizabeth Applegate
    Elizabeth Applegate
  • RavensFeast
  • epicharis
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

10 Reviews

mmarry July 7, 2024
Yum! Simple, easy & delicious, a great combination. I took another commenter's suggestion and added sweet potato which was a good ides. I made it as written except I used a cast iron skillet and put a weight on top of the eggplant on the first part of the frying. I also toasted the spices and then ground them to bump up the flavor.
Brenda M. January 8, 2023
This was quite good and had a real depth of flavor. I was surprised that the eggplant tasted so smoky with this cooking method (I used a Japanese eggplant split down the middle and in half). It wasn't quite enough quantity-wise so I added peeled and cubed sweet potato (sauteed in the same pan after I removed the eggplant...I also removed the sweet potato after it was soft and charred and then kept the rest of the steps). Sweet potato was a nice addition I think I'll repeat.
Emma August 2, 2022
We found this recipe to be lacking in flavor, which is funny since there are many toasted spices. It needed some spicy, maybe some ginger too. Also, definitely salt your eggplant before grilling it - I should've known better. The eggplant itself was flavorless due to this.
Danielle July 21, 2022
Put this over basmati rice to soak up the coconut milk and it was fantastic!
alacarte November 19, 2021
I'd suggest doing the initial searing with more olive oil. I used a cast iron dutch oven as indicated, and, alas, the eggplant not only browned but stuck to the bottom and burned. I will make this again and pay more attention to the eggplant. I also used about 1/2 the coconut milk which was plenty.
Erin September 20, 2021
We made this with double the eggplant and added a can of chickpeas, since as RavensFeast pointed out, this makes quite a bit of extra sauce. Very silky and tasty!
Elizabeth A. February 9, 2021
Awesome and tasty recipe! It turned out wonderful.
RavensFeast June 6, 2020
What a great recipe! We doubled it and used a bit less coconut milk (otherwise it would have been more like a soup). Garnished w/ fresh dill, basil and cilantro. So quick and easy to make - a great weeknight dinner. We will make this again for sure.
epicharis March 20, 2019
This was so good and came together so quickly - a new weeknight staple for sure!
Emma L. March 21, 2019
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it.