It’s interesting that green vegetables are more popular or often selected than from the other light spectrums ex: red pepper, white cauliflower or pink radishes). While we are encouraged to ‘eat the rainbow’, I feel we still play favortism, such as buying lettuce, romaine, or broccoli and overlooking the lonely yellow zucchini and yes, eggplant (also known as aubergine).
One of the most popular usage of eggplant is baba ghanouj, which is a meze dip with a final coloration of pale white since the skin is stripped off in order to showcase the ‘meat’ of an eggplant. However, there are some palettes who are sensitive to the bitterness of the seeds. Old custom has been to soak the cut eggplant in some salted water before cooking to not only eliminate the bitterness, but also to draw out excess moisture.
There are a variety of eggplants – some are plump and chubby, while others are long and slender. I prefer the latter ones, which are usually the Chinese or Japanese eggplants. I find the meat a little ‘sweeter’ and less watery in a stir-fry dish. Though if you are making an eggplant parmagiana, then I would suggest the larger ones. So even different breeds yield a particular, subtle taste difference.
My go-to eggplant dish is to slice up a long eggplant and stir-fry it along with slivered garlic, green sprouts, scallions, and seasoned with oyster sauce. If you can take the heat, add in some chili sauce, which would surely compliment with a bowl of rice.