Since alluring travel plans remain far off in the distance, experience new international flavors at home with these nutrient-packed regional dishes.
- 3 Japanese eggplants
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- ¼ cup white miso
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- One 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red chile pepper, stem removed, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Remove stems and bottoms of eggplants. Cut into quarters lengthwise and cut into thirds crosswise. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Add salt and sugar. Toss to combine. Let sit for 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness and excess moisture. Remove as much moisture as possible.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, white miso and fish sauce until smooth. Add to eggplants and evenly coat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add ginger, garlic, chile pepper and peanuts. Cook until garlic and ginger begin to brown and become fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove mixture from saucepan and set aside in a small bowl.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using tongs, add eggplant pieces, flesh-side down. Cook until eggplant begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the skin side.
- Add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until liquid begins to thicken and eggplants are tender. Top with peanut mixture and green onion. Serve immediately.