Eggplant is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. If it isn’t properly cooked, you’re not likely to want to try it again. Kids are more likely to hate it, but my daughter loves eggplant. The baby eggplants that are often used in Indian food are cropping up at the farmer’s market and they are one of my favorite kinds to cook. My other favorite is the long Japanese variety, which I used this past week to make my daughter’s favorite Chinese eggplant recipe.
Slice the eggplant anyway you want. I cut them about the size and shape of a carrot stick on a party platter. Sauté the slices in olive oil on medium to high heat. Eggplant wants to just soak up the oil so don’t be too cheap on the oil. When soft to the touch and nearly cooked through, add a splash of soy sauce and a few tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Turn down the fire slightly and cooked until the sauce is absorbed and the eggplant is browned. We ate it with summer basil on top, but cilantro or green onions also work well. If my kids weren’t eating it with me, I would have put a teaspoon of garlic and chili sauce in too!