Grilling Eggplants

>> Monday, July 11, 2011


I love summer time grilling and everything to do with it. I’ve been literally throwing everything on the grill. There really isn’t much that you can’t grill. I’ve even found a book where you can make your desserts on the grill! The reason behind all this, aside from the fact that it’s gorgeous outside right now and who knows how long that’ll last in Calgary…is that you don’t have much clean up. Literally, you just turn off the BBQ and step away (minus a minute or two to scrape off all the little bits of food that might still be stuck on the grill, no washing of pots and pans or woks). And since everything that needs to go on the grill is usually marinated in one bowl or Ziploc, it makes cleaning up even easier.

So since we’ve been grilling every meal pretty much, it was starting to get a bit boring to keep eating veggies with only salt, pepper and olive oil as a marinade. I usually can’t go more than one or two days with the same flavour profiles, so a little ingenuity was required (aka my friend google). I looked in the fridge and saw that I had some eggplant lying around and I’ve grilled eggplants before and they’re delicious. Eggplants are literally a sponge and will take on any type of flavouring you marinade it in and great for the grill because its form holds up well to the heat.

Nutritional Tidbit: Don’t let the texture of eggplant throw you off (it might take a bit to get use to), but the benefits are well worth it and shouldn’t be ignored. The eggplant has high antioxidant levels which help to fight off environmental damage caused by free radicals to our bodies. Not to mention it’s great for dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Remember when picking out eggplant in the grocery store. Go for the smooth, shiny, deep purpled colored ones (usually the most common type). Try to avoid any that have a marked skin which is a telltale sign that the eggplant isn’t very fresh. If you’re uncertain whether to get the Chinese (long and slender), the European (rounder) or even the Indian (small and round) variety, remember they can all be treated the same. The taste may range a bit so for the recipe below (which is based on this recipe found here), try to stick with the purple varietal since I haven’t tested this on the white or green eggplant types.

That's pretty much it! Pretty straight forward right? Just like grilling. =)

Grilled Eggplant
Ingredients:1 European eggplant
4 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
8 cloves garlic, minced (less if you’re not a big garlic fan)
2 tbsp cooking wine
2-3 tbsp sriracha or other chili sauce
Lime wedges (optional)

Preparation:Cut the eggplant length wise to increase the surface area on the grill.

In a baking dish (or Ziploc bag), combine the light, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, cooking wine, garlic and sriracha sauce.

Place the cut eggplant in to the marinade, rotating each piece so that it is covered in the marinade.

Let it sit for 30 mins to an hour before placing it on the grill.

After about 5 mins, remember to turn the eggplant and baste it with the remaining sauce.
Remove the eggplant after another 5 mins or so.

Server with a wedge of lime or as is. Great as a side for chicken or pork (grilled as well of course).



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