Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cà Tím Nướng - Vietnamese Style Roasted Eggplant– Turning Vietnamese #6

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In its versatility in cooking methods and the ease with which it takes on the flavors of various seasoning, the eggplant is truly a great vegetable to have on hand, especially when they are featured proudly at the farmers market.

This treatment highlights a distinctly Vietnamese treatment of the long skinny purple ones that my family has enjoyed as a side dish quite often. Straight and narrow recipe posted at the bottom.

First preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

After washing and halving the eggplant, the next step is to sprinkle lightly and evenly with kosher salt, which adds flavor and removes some of the moisture.

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After letting the eggplant sit for ten to thirty minutes (how much time you got?) wipe the moisture off with a clean paper towel and brush with olive oil.

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Place cut side down and place in oven to roast for half an hour.

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I forgot to photograph this part, but while the eggplant are in the oven, sauté some green onions and sliced onions in olive oil, and prepare some Nước mắm pha (guidelines below.)

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The eggplant should have turned this interesting greenish brown tone, and ready for peeling with your fingers. If some are uncooperative, a minute (or five) in the microwave will speed things along.

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Sometimes you will take off a bit more flesh with the skin than you like. If you don’t want to waste

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You can remove the flesh with a fork or a knife. Though it might be a bit too squishy for your liking. You may use it in another application. Do whatever you like!

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But most of your eggplants should be fine.

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Tear them into strips with your fingers and place on your serving plate.

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Top with sautéed onions.

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And spoon over generously and evenly with four to five tablespoons of Nước mắm pha, to taste.

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Serve with rice along with other Vietnamese dishes that accompany a big pot of rice.

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Recipe guidelines:


  • Eggplant (use long slender eggplant for best results)
  • Kosher salt
  • Nước mắm pha/“mixed fish sauce” (A basic recipe for this is one part acid such as lime juice or vinegar, one part sugar, one part fish sauce, two parts water, and perhaps with some sliced chili peppers thrown in, well mixed to dissolve sugar)
  • Two green onions
  • One quarter of a small onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice eggplant into halves, sprinkle with kosher salt and let rest, cut side up, for at least ten minutes, but a half hour is best.

Wipe off with clean paper towel, then brush cut sides with olive oil.

Place eggplant halves cut side down on parchment covered baking sheet, roast in oven for a half hour.

In last ten minutes of roasting, sauté green onion and onion slices in olive oil.

When eggplant is ready, carefully peel off the skin and discard. If skin isn’t cooperating a minute or two in the microwave will expedite the process.

Using fingers, make strips out of the peeled eggplant pieces and place on serving plate, top with sautéed onions and spoon over with Nước mắm pha to taste. Serve immediately.

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