I came across some nice Japanese eggplants at the local farmer’s market this past week. Japanese eggplants are long, skinny, and lavender in color rather than the typical football shape and deep purple eggplant seen in the grocery store. Also, they seem to have less seeds than the purple eggplant – but feel free to substitute. Here, I’ve paired it with the Thai basil from my garden that I usually use for Pho, Vietnamese noodle soup.
I’ve kept it simple and light dish with minimal ingredients for summer dinner. You can make this without meat for a vegetarian side dish or opt to add chicken or pork.
Eggplant with Thai Basil and Pork
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ lb of sliced pork tenderloin/pork butt
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1.5 lb eggplant, cut into ½ inch rings
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of loose Thai basil
- 1/2 cup of water
1. Heat oil in large frying pan on medium high heat and then add sliced pork. Stir-fry the pork until lightly browned, add the chopped onions and garlic.
2. Transfer the stir-fried mixture into a medium size pot over medium heat. Add to this the sliced eggplant. Gently mix the vegetables with the stir-fried pork.
3. Add to the mixture, the fish sauce, black pepper, Thai basil and water. Bring to a gentle boil then simmer on medium-low heat with lid on for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring.
4. Garnish with more basil and serve with rice.