Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 127

Thai Eggplant: After trying to find this variety of eggplant a few weeks ago at Your Dekalb Farmers Market, I was glad to finally score some at the BHFM a few days ago. It's interesting how several common foods that I've been used to eating can have many different varieties, and I've enjoyed finding out what those differences are. I was pleased with the results of the Chinese eggplant I found previously, so I was eager to get this Thai version home to cook.

I'd never seen any other eggplant that looked like these - instead of the dark purplish exterior that's common with many varieties, these were marbled with a green/yellow pattern, and about the size of a golf ball. Also, the outer skin was noticeably thicker than purple eggplant. I cut one open lengthwise, and the interior flesh was white with plenty of seeds in the middle. Surprisingly, the seeds turned from white to a deep brown almost immediately after I cut it open. I'd never seen any fruit or vegetable oxidize that fast. I decided to cook them using an easy recipe I found online, stir-frying in a mix of oil, garlic, red chili flakes, soy sauce and basil.

Once I finished cooking, I noticed that the taste of the interior flesh was pretty similar to Chinese eggplant, but the outer skin retained a toughness and crunch that didn't disappear after cooking. If you're used to the mushy exterior of common purple eggplant, the Thai variety can take a little getting used to. There was less sweetness present, but the soy sauce added some despite that. I also noticed a hint of bitterness with the skin, but it didn't really bother me.

I liked this Thai version, but I doubt I'd keep substituting it for a purple variety. If you're feeling adventurous with your eggplant, check it out.

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