Sweet and spicy eggplant-zucchini bowl recipe

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This recipe is a take on a popular Chinese restaurant dish.

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Rice
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch slices
Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons natural brown sugar
How to Make It
    Rice
  1. Heat the water and salt in a small saucepan over high heat. Rinse the rice in two changes of fresh water and add to the pan. When the water is bubbling on the sides of the pan, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to steam. Fluff with a fork before serving.
  2. Marinade
  3. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Combine the broth, oil, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the zucchini slices with the marinade and grill the slices until almost tender, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface and cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  4. Toss the eggplant slices with the remaining marinade and grill until almost tender, about 4 minutes per side. Turn the slices a quarter turn after 2 minutes to achieve a criss-cross pattern. This will help the eggplant cook but not burn. Transfer to a work surface and cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  5. Sauce
  6. Combine the tamari, broth, sambal oelek, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. Nuts
  8. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the cashews and cook until golden,3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  9. Vegetables
  10. Heat the oil in the large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the celery and cook 1 minute. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and scallions and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the reserved eggplant, zucchini and sauce. Stir, cover and cook until the eggplant is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook just until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved cashews. Serve with the rice.
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