Vietnamese Eggplant in Clay Pot
June 3, 2016

My favorite vegetarian dish – Vietnamese Eggplant in a Clay Pot

At the beginning I was skeptical about Vietnamese eggplant. Only eggplant? Because I was not a bif fan of eggplant before. But it was a part of our cooking class in Hoi An, so I had to learn it and give asian eggplant a chance to surpise. Already in cooking you can smell appetizing aroma. And the final result was a big surprise! Vietnamese cuisine is known for its complex mix of flavors. Cooking only fresh eggplant with asian seasoning and herbs will please your palate. This recipe is just one of the dishes you learn at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 13 mins
Easy to cook for everybody

Ingredients (for 4 servings):
– 2 tsp peanut oil
– 1 clove garlic – finely chopped
– 2 tomatoes – quartered, inner section and seeds removed
– 1 stalk lemongrass – white part finely chopped (keep stalk)
– 1 spring onion – cut into 3 cm pieces
– 2 Asian (long and thin) eggplants – cut into pieces 4 cm long and 1 cm wide
– 1 big not very spicy red chili – cut into thin strips
– 1 + 1/2 Tbsp and 1/2 tsp of fish sauce
– 1 + 1/2 tsp of sugar
– 1 pinch turmeric (or curry powder)
– 1 punch pepper
– Thai Basil

Asian Eggplant Preparation:
1. Put medium sized clay pot on heat, add 2 teaspoons of oil and stir in garlic till fragrant. Add tomato and chopped lemongrass to the pot (not lemongrass stalk).
2. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Allow mixture to simmer for approximately 2 minutes.
3. Next add 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar – mix well.
4. Add eggplant, pour in a cup of water.
5. Add another 1/2 teaspoon of fish sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar – mix well, then add the turmeric, pepper, and lemongrass stalk. (Remove the lemongrass stalk before serving.)
6. Allow mixture to simmer for approximately 7 minutes (until the eggplant is tender).

Serve hot in claypot or bowl and garnish with basil, coriander, spring onion, and chili. Serve with steamed rice.