I’ve never been a fan of eggplant. It’s too bitter. The taste permeates and overpowers the other flavors of a dish. Blech. But when I was in China, I discovered that it wasn’t the eggplant I didn’t like, but the way it was prepared. Each time I tasted a Chinese eggplant dish, I fell in love with it- so tender, sweet, and hearty. A friend told me that I had probably been eating eggplant that hadn’t been properly salted- yes salted. Apparently, you’ve got to salt (as in sprinkling with a generous coating of salt) the eggplant in order to extract the bitter juices within. There’s a method to the madness and this is how it’s done.
Rough peel the eggplant and chop into cubes or slices or whatever you prefer.
Place the slices in a colander and coat evenly and generously with salt. Allow the eggplant to sit in the colander for an hour (in the sink or a bowl) to let the juices drain. Right away you’ll be able to see water beading on the surface of the eggplant. After several minutes, you can see water collect under the colander.
Once you’ve finished salting your eggplant, rinse thoroughly and then squeeze each piece of eggplant like a sponge to remove excess water. Pat dry with paper towel and incorporate into your favorite dishes. I cooked mine in a stir fry with sesame oil, ginger, coriander and lots of veggies. It was delicious!
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