Eggplant is an incredibly versatile vegetable. It works well in many dishes from all around the world, and they are served in many forms (casseroles, stuffed, grilled or stir-fried). My favorite variety is the Chinese eggplant. It's slimmer, longer and I think they are a lot tastier than the American variety.
Below is a quick recipe for an eggplant and shrimp stir fry (Ca Tim Xao Tom) in a simple garlic and oyster sauce. It was a quick yet delicious side dish to steamed white rice. I added a bit of red pepper flakes for a kick, but eliminate if preferred.
Eggplant with Shrimp and Garlic Sauce Recipe
1/2 lb shrimp (peel and devein)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 teaspoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves (peel and mince)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or 1-2 dried chili peppers
4 Chinese eggplant (remove stem end, halve, then cut into 1-inch half-circles)
1 cup water
2 stalks green onions (remove stem and cut into 1-inch segments)
Marinate the shrimp with salt and pepper for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together sugar, corn/tapioca starch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil until completely dissolved. Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high(use a skillet with a lid).
Add garlic and chili peppers. Saute until fragrant but not brown (30 seconds).
Toss in the shrimp and cook until they turn opaque (white and pink).
Remove the cooked shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
In the now empty skillet, add eggplants and water. Cover with lid and simmer on low for about 5-7 minutes until fork tender (do not overcook eggplants because they will turn to mush).
Toss in the cooked shrimp and add the sauce made earlier.
Cook on low until sauce thickens.
Garnish with green onions and serve with steamed white rice.