Roasted Baby White EggplantSep 01
Seasoned breadcrumbs have been a staple in my kitchen for a long time. They are useful in a variety of dishes, but the seasoning is typically Italian-inspired. I started thinking recently that it might be interesting to make some seasoned breadcrumbs that are Asian-inspired instead. So we picked up some baby white eggplant at our local Asian supermarket, and I proceeded to make breaded, roasted eggplant entirely from scratch. I don’t need no stinkin’ recipe! Well, okay, maybe the finished product leaves a little to be desired – too much bread crumbs for the amount of eggplant, a tad too spicy – but I was quite happy with the outcome.
Unlike most of my recipes, this one is actually exact, as I kept track of what I was doing. For the breadcrumbs, I used a stale baguette, put it into a large freezer bag and crushed it with a rolling pin. You could also just buy some Panko or other unseasoned breadcrumbs if you want.
- Approx. 1 lb. baby white eggplant, sliced
- 1 C bread crumbs, finely crushed
- 2 T sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 t sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1 t garlic powder
- 3/4 t five-spice
- 1/2 – 1 t cayenne pepper, depending on desired spice level
- 1/2 t ginger
- 1/2 t cumin
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 egg white
Mix all dry ingredients in a freezer bag (if you crushed the bread crumbs yourself) or a bowl.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the soy sauce, sesame oil and white together.
Toss the eggplant in the soy sauce mixture, then add about three quarters of the seasoned breadcrumbs and shake well. (If you stir, make sure you use a plastic spatula or something else gentle, so you don’t mash up the eggplant too much!) Alternately, you can mix the breadcrumbs with the soy sauce mixture, then skip to the next step, sprinkling all the bread crumbs over the eggplant after it’s in the pie pan.
Spread the eggplant evenly in a pie pan, top with the remaining bread crumbs, and bake at 350* for about 25 minutes. Switch your oven to broil, and leave for about two minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn on top. The broil is optional, but it will add a really nice crsipiness to the top.