Eggplant is one of my favorite ingredients in a hearty stir fry recipe!
It has a robust flavor and is so intriguing to the palate.
It's a little bit bitter, but its a pleasant bitter!
And when combined with amazing ingredients like garlic, basil, and lime zest, it's downright swoon-worthy!
Eggplants have a lot going for them in terms of benefit and nutrition!
BENEFITS OF EGGPLANT
They are anti-inflammatory
They are rich in an antioxidant called nasunin, which combats against oxidative stress and protects against lipid peroxidation
They contain polyphenols that may be protective against cancer
They help lower cholesterol and blood pressure
They contain potent cardio-protective compounds that have been shown to increase left ventricular function, see this study here
They help improve digestive health
They are a rich source of manganese, an important mineral for bone health
They are a good source of B vitamins, specifically B1 and B6
Sometimes eggplant can get real spongy. So the way that I avoid this spongy/funky texture situation is by getting rid of the excess moisture that the eggplant naturally has.
It's super simple -- just heat up a cast iron skillet to super scorching hot, and this will quickly evaporate the moisture.
Just slice your eggplant, and lay the eggplant slices in the skillet for 7-8 minutes over high heat. This evaporates the moisture and browns the eggplant which will give your dish a whole layer of smoky deliciousness! Make sure to brown both sides!
Garlicky Eggplant Stir Fry
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce OR fish sauce substitute
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 2 tsp grated lime zest
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- pinch of red pepper flakes (or more, depending on how much spice you like)
For the stir fry:
- 2 TBS coconut oil or Kerry Gold butter
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TBS grated fresh ginger
- 1 pound of eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 green peppers, sliced thin
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
-Step one -- brown your eggplant first, as this takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how big your skillet is and how much eggplant you have to brown.
-Once your eggplant is browned on both sides, remove from heat, and once it has cooled a bit, slice it up into 3/4 inch pieces.
-Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
-Heat your skillet to medium heat.
-Add your coconut oil or butter, and when it has melted, add the chopped up eggplant and bell pepper and saute for 5-6 minutes.
-Add in the garlic and ginger, making sure to mix it around well so that it coats the eggplant and the bell pepper, about 2 minutes.
-Now add the sauce to the skillet, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened and has coated the veggies, about one minute.
-Remove from heat.
-Stir in the fresh basil and the scallions, top with sesame seeds, and enjoy served over brown or wild rice!
Tell me if you enjoyed this recipe! Leave me a comment below!
Have a wonderful day! And here's to enjoying more eggplant!