Preparing the Eggplant:
I’ve cooked Eggplant before, but I’ve never thought about how to prepare it before you cook it. Eggplant has a natural enzyme in it that can leave a bitter after taste. So to get rid of that bitterness, you have to draw out the moisture in the eggplant. They call it sweating the eggplant.
The first thing to do is line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside. Clean your eggplant and cut off the top & bottom. Starting from one end, slice off 1/2 inch circles. Place them onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices and leave for 1/2 – 1 hour. It’s fun to see how much water will come to the surface. When the time if up, take a towel and soak up the water & salt until the slices are dry. Now they are ready.
Spicy Sesame Garlic Eggplant with Sushi Rice
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch circles
Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt & white pepper
Parmesan cheese, shaved
Preheat grill. (I used my panini press which is amazing to cook on) First brush Grapeseed oil onto the grill so the eggplant slices won’t stick. Drizzle the grapeseed oil on the eggplant pieces as well. Season with salt & white pepper. Place on grill and cook for approx. 14-20 minutes or until eggplant becomes soft. Meanwhile add garlic, brown rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and red chili flakes to a small bowl. Whisk together until flavors are blended. When eggplant slices are done, place them onto a plate of sushi rice and pour desired amount of the sauce all over. Top with shaved parmesan cheese and finely fresh chopped mint leaves.