Monday, February 4, 2013

Battle of the Asians

In my old apartment in Astoria, there were dueling take-out restaurants on opposite corners, one Thai and one Chinese. Generally, I'm not a take-out kind of girl. Especially Chinese food! Bleck! I haven't had Chinese food in almost a year and that was only because someone's mom had a coupon. Can't turn down a bargain!

But occasionally, the alluring scent of chili-garlic sauce and MSG would spark a craving in which I will feebly attempt to create something to satisfy the take-out urge!

Since I love Thai-food, that's the route I usually take. However, my own version of "Thai" food deserves quotes the same way my "Indian" food does, in that the flavors miss the mark of authentic. If it has peanuts in it, I'll consider it "Thai-inspired."

Luckily, this recipe is pretty damn good.

Spicy Eggplant in Peanut Sauce

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: eggplant peanut butter sriracha peas
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large eggplant or 2 smaller ones, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 large tomato, diced, optional - I actually prefer it without the tomato
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • 1 - 2 tsp srichara (optional, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 c of homemade peanut sauce
  • canola oil
  • salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray cookie sheet with oil and toss cubed eggplant with a couple of teaspoons olive to ensure they don't stick to the pan when roasting. Let eggplant roast for 45 minutes our until eggplant gets golden, flipping in half way through the roasting process. This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
3. When eggplant is cooked almost all the way through, put onions in a pan with oil to begin softening. After a few minutes, add garlic. Adding the garlic after the onions have started to cook will prevent garlic from burning.
4. Add tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes before adding the roasted eggplant and peas. You can also add the srichaha at this point.
5. Add peanut sauce, stirring to coat all the ingredients. Warm through.
6. Remove from heat and add cilantro. Serve.
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