Chinese Eggplant Salad

Asian eggplants are long and thin; use either the deep purple Japanese variety or the sweeter, amethyst-coloured Chinese eggplant. You can make the salad up to 4 hours ahead; cover and chill. Serve as an appetizer, with toasted baguette slices or sesame crackers.

Ingredients:

  • 8  Asian eggplants (about 1 3/4 lbs. total; see note above)
  • 2  Tbsp  Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 2  Tbsp  soy sauce
  • 2  Tbsp  rice vinegar
  • 1  Tbsp  minced garlic
  • 60 ml (1/4  cup)  minced green onions (including green tops)

Method:

  1. Place eggplants in a 30 x 40 cm (~12- by 15-in) baking pan; pierce each several times with a sharp knife. 
  2. Bake in a 205oC (400°F) regular or convection oven until very soft when pressed, 40 to 50 minutes. 
  3. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Cut off and discard stems; slice eggplants in half lengthwise. With a fork or your fingers, remove flesh in long shreds. Discard peels.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic. 
  5. Add eggplant and mix gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  6. Sprinkle eggplant salad with green onions just before serving.
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