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 go with 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.