I love easy cooking, though sometimes I fear if it's too easy, it's not going to be good. Throw me a curve ball, some different ingredients, make me sweat, then the dish is bound to be good...or a colossal waste of time. That brings me to a recipe I saw on Food 52 where they tried to say I could cook eggplant in the microwave. Easy yes, but tasty, not so sure.
Scanning the list of ingredients, I was happy to see an Asian line up featuring some of my favorite friends like tamari, vinegar, cilantro and sesame oil, but cooking in a microwave? I really only use my microwave for making tea. It fit the bill of interesting, different, and curve ball included. I decided I was game.
Mixing all the ingredients was a breeze. I found it very salty which of course you're bound to get from soy sauce or tamari, so I'd use a little less than a 1/4 cup there, and I doubled the vinegar for a little more pop. The eggplant did a 45 minute sit in the marinade, 10 minutes in the microwave and voila, tasty, umami filled eggplant. It was easy, unique and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Marinated and Microwaved Asian Eggplant
Adapted from Food 52
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablspoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tabelspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 medium-size garlic gloves
- 1 x 1/4" fresh, peeled ginger, minced
- 4 small Chinese eggplants
- Place all ingredients except the eggplant into a blender or food processor and combine until smooth.
- Cut the ends of the eggplant and slice down the middle. Prick with a fork throughout, and score the flesh using a diagonal cut in both directions.
- Place the eggplant skin side down in a microwave-safe dish large enough to fit all eggplant in a single layer, side by side.
- Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the marinate over each eggplant half and work into the flesh. Flip the eggplant and put the remaining marinade into the dish. Let stand for 45 minutes.
- After marinading, place eggplant skin side down. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or plastic wrap that's microwave friendly. Cook on full power for 10 minutes until done.