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Spicy Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Posted Nov 18 2009 10:01pm

I’ve been told that my palette handles heat pretty well, but compared to my mom, hubby, and his family, who can eat Thai bird chilis (raw) along with their meals, I think I score a little on the wimp scale.  Still, if you are not into spicy foods, omit the chili garlic paste here and decrease the amount of ginger a little.  And if you do eat spicy foods and think this is too hot, don’t lay the blame on me!  I warned you.  :)

Eggplant is a great way to add variety to your weekly veggie repertoire.  Usually in the market you’ll see the large, globe eggplant which is the regular/classic variety.  I like these in eggplant parmigiana because they’re really meaty.  For this dish, though, I changed it up a bit and used the Japanese eggplant variety, which is long and thin.  The purple skin is also a little lighter than the typical globe variety.  Great for stir-fries too.  Anyways, try this out.  The marinade caramelizes under the grill and develops a sweet, spicy crust that I think you’ll like!

Spicy Grilled Japanese Eggplant

serves 5

5 small Japanese eggplants, tops cut off and cut in half lengthwise

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp chili paste

1 1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp canola oil

1.  Whisk together all ingredients except for the eggplant.  Brush the marinade over both sides of the eggplants, reserving about 1 Tbsp of the marinade.

2.  Grill each side of the eggplants until tender, about 3 minutes each side.  In the George Foreman grill it takes a total of about 3-4 minutes without the need to flip the eggplant over.  Brush the remaining reserved marinade over the grilled eggplants before serving.

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