Claypot Eggplant with Basil
This is a homely recipe for Chinese-style basil eggplants cooked and served in a claypot (九层塔茄子煲). If you don’t have a claypot, cook the dish in a wokpan and dish it out on a serving plate.
- Tutorial: How to retain the purple hue of eggplants after cooking
- Tutorial: Claypot Cooking Care
- Easy Eggplant Recipes
The sauce which is soaked up by the eggplant (brinjal or aubergine) is a savoury mix of soy bean paste, soy sauce, garlic and chilli. Sweet basil leaves give the dish a perfumed basil aroma and a nice Taiwanese vibe.
Retain the vibrant purple of eggplant by pre-cooking them before stir-frying: If you were to add eggplants directly to a wok to stir-fry, they will turn an unflattering brown after cooking. While this doesn’t affect the taste of the dish, the presentation is somewhat lackluster. To overcome this common problem, check out this tutorial for pre-cooking the eggplants using either the microwave, boiling or steaming method to ‘lock-in’ the purple hue. For this recipe, I used the the microwave method (pictured above) to do the job.
In a claypot (or regular wokpan), cook the garlic, chilli and soybean paste until aromatic.
Make the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the pre-cooked eggplants and coat them evenly in the sauce.
Cover with lid and simmer down for about 2 minutes.
Stir in basil leaves while the contents are still hot.
Looks really appetizing and I bet the sauce would be great for tofu or chicken too.
精益求精 in taking the extra step to pre-cook the eggplant – making the final dish (eggplant) not only taste great, but look good :D