Wednesday, November 12, 2014

OMG! Eggplant Two Ways... Ode to Japanese Manga Oishinbo

Calling all eggplant aficionados... two must-try quick and straightforward preparations for Chinese eggplant anyone can do! Low on effort and supreme in taste! Who knew something prepared so simply can taste so sublime! I've made this twice for my family since reading this installment last week, and is it ever gooood!! Oishinbo (translates to "The Gourmet") is one of the best selling and most beloved Japanese manga of all time- a fascinating, addictive journey through the world of cooking and food culture! This is my second post inspired by one of their editions, this time Vegetables. Remember to read the frames from right to left!

TIP: Choose eggplants that are supple and have an elastic feel to them. Bad eggplants have no elasticity and they're light for their size. When cut, the skin of a good eggplant is thin with flesh that is moist, with a light brown tint and flesh evenly packed. Bad eggplants have thick skin, and vertical gaps around the centre and flesh tough and dry... Oishinbo

Oishinbo A La Carte: Vegetables by Tetsu Kariya pp. 137 to 140

OISHIII!! Now let's eat- Itadakimasu!

Some TIPS for recipe success:

* Use plenty of sesame oil in the first recipe in hot skillet/wok and coat well. Drip a Tbsp. of water and let eggplant cook and tenderize. Toss and add more water a Tbsp. at a time until eggplants are tender. 
* Pan-fry eggplants in second recipe until caramelized on both sides. Do not overcook or it will get too soft and flesh will separate.
* Use Japanese soy sauce to finish the dishes as it is lighter and sweeter than Chinese soy sauce and complements this style of eggplant beautifully.

For another fun post inspired by the comic pages of Oishinbo, check out Fried Oyster and Kimchi on Rice from their Izakaya and Pub Food edition.

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