Recipe: Thai-Style, Spicy Eggplant-Mushroom Sauce
- 1/2 lb Mushrooms
- 1 md Shallot
- 2 md Garlic cloves
- 1/2 t Hunan style red chili paste
- 1 1/2 c Rice milk or milk substitute
- 1 lb Eggplant
- 1 md Red bell pepper
- 1/2 c Chopped asparagus stems(originally this was peas)
- 1/2 c Fresh basil leaves
- 2 t Sugar
- 1/2 t Plum sauce
- 1/2 t Ginger
- 1/4 c Veggie stock
- 2 3 drops toasted sesame oil
- 2 t Tapioca flour
- Mince garlic and shallot; quarter mushrooms, dice eggplant into 1-inch cubes and slice red bell pepper into long strips. In a large frying pan, on medium head add stock and mushrooms.
- Simmer for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and brown. Remove mushrooms and set aside. In remaining stock add shallot and garlic, sautee for 1-2 minutes. Add chili paste and milk. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add sugar, plum sauce and sesame oil (only a few drops! It’s amazing the flavor it adds). Add eggplant, asparagus stems and red bell pepper. Bring mixture back up to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally until eggplant and asparagus are tender. In the last 5 minutes add mushrooms and fresh basil leaves.
- Serve over grilled polenta (recipe follows) or rice and the steamed asparagus tips. Note: When I made this recipe I felt that the sauce was too thin. The original recipe called for coconut milk and olive oil as the sauce’s base. How I remedied this problem was as follows: I removed all the vegetables from the pan using a slotted spoon and turned the heat down to the lowest setting. I placed them in the serving bowl and set aside. In a measuring cup I added 1/3 cup cold water and 2 heaping teaspoons of tapioca flour (not pearls). Once this was thoroughly mixed I poured it into the sauce while stirring with the slotted spoon. In less than a minute the sauce had thickened very nicely. I then poured the sauce into the bowl over the vegetables and served. It was pleasantly spicy (go light on the red chili paste if you dislike REALLY hot foods) and filling.
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: Thai