Food & Drink Magazine

Thai Coconut Eggplants

By Divinechik

Thai Coconut Eggplants

Thai Coconut Eggplants

With kaffir lime, ginger, lemongrass, chili and coconut milk, it has the flavors of Thai cuisine yet simpler to make. The sauce can be made ahead of time and it goes well with firm white fish, chicken, beef, pork, prawns, tofu and vegetables. The Thai eggplants are perfect with the sauce as the eggplants would soak up the gravy-like flavorful liquid. J wants the dish drowning with a lot of sauce. The yellow eggplant would cook until they're really tender while the green ones would add some texture to it. I haven't been to Thailand, so thank youGigi Uyfor the supply and generosity. I also added some tomato medley also from God's Grace Farm and some leftover pan-fried tofu to complete the dish. Even if you don't like spicy food, don't skimp on the chilies. It needs that spicy kick along with the sweet, sour, salty, pungent taste all infused together in a creamy coral-hue coconut sauce.

Thai Coconut Eggplants

When the sauce has been reduced, you can simply add the prepared ingredients and cook them until they're tender but I like to stir-fry the whole tomatoes in a carbon steel wok for the smokey sweet flavor. I did the same thing with the eggplant. If you can't find galangal, just use ginger and if there's no Thai basil, just use the basil that is available. The dish still rocks and make sure you Jasmine rice to go with it.

My plan didn't turn out the way I want it. This dish was made on a Wednesday morning before lunch while Nate was still taking a nap. I didn't have the recipe as well because internet was down. It's good to have a recipe as a guide but there' freedom when you cook a dish using your five senses. Honestly, I don't know if the recipe below would have enough sauce for the amount of vegetables given. But the sauce can be doubled and tripled.

Thai Coconut Eggplants

(Sauce adapted from Rouxbe Online Cooking School)

3 large shallots

2 stalks lemongrass

2" -inch piece galangal or ginger

2 tbsp peanut oil'

2 small Thai chilis

1 tbsp palm sugar (can substitute with white sugar)

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups coconut milk

2 kaffir lime leaves

1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

400 g green Thai eggplant

400 g yellow Thai eggplant

250 g tomato medley

2 pcs 2-inch square tofu

Thai basil leaves, or to taste

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

To start the sauce, mince the shallots and the white part of the lemongrass. Set aside. Roughly chop the galangal.
Heat a deep-sided saute or fry pan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the shallots, lemongrass, galangal and whole Thai chilies. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until the shallots are translucent. Next, add the palm sugar and tomato paste. Cook for a minute before adding the coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and salt. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer. Cook uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken slightly.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Cut the top end of the eggplant and cut into halves or quarters. I left the tomato medley whole. Next, cut each tofu into 4 piece triangle. If you have time, you can marinade the tofu in soy sauce and garlic powder for 15 minutes each and pan fry in a bit of oil until lightly brown.

Once the sauce as thickened, heat a wok over high heat and add a bit of oil. Stir-fry the tomatoes until they are slightly charred on the outside. Transfer to a plate. Do the same thing with the eggplant. Add the eggplant, tomatoes and tofu into the sauce and simmer until the eggplants are tender.

When the eggplants are already tender, chiffonade the basil and add to the dish. Serve the dish with Jasmine rice and wedge of lime.


Thai Coconut Eggplants

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