I saw these long skinny looking purple things in the store and decided on impulse to buy them. I did some research and discovered that they were Chinese Eggplants. Japanese Eggplants have a similar shape but are a much darker purple. Because of their shape they are almost seedless which means they are rarely bitter and you can eat the skin.
After a bit of noodling around I decided to stir fry them in a sort of Chinese style – they were Chinese, right?
Chinese eggplants cut into about 1 inch chunks
1 tablespoon chilli/black bean paste
1 ½ teaspoons of minced fresh ginger
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of chopped spring onions (shallots)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Toast your sesame seeds – in a dry pan – I was a bit nervous about burning them so probably didn't toast them enough.
Heat your oil in a heavy pan. Stir fry the eggplant on a high heat for about 3 minutes. Don't let the oil splatter your hand and burn it (advice borne out from experience).
Set the eggplant aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan and let it heat. Then add the chilli paste and ginger and fry for 15 seconds or so. Add the stock, soy and sugar. Add the vinegar and put the eggplant back in and let it boil away for a minute or so. Stir in the spring onions and the sesame oil. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds before serving.
This definitely had a strong savoury Chinese flavour. Next time I'd reduce the sauce a bit before adding the eggplant back – and possibly would reduce the cooking time for the eggplant by a minute – it was quite soft to the mouth.