Friday recipe: Southeast Asian-style eggplant

Do you love your vegetables? If not, Mollie Katzen can help. The longtime chef and queen of vegetarian cuisine has authored several flavor-packed tomes, including the 1977 Moosewood Cookbook, a 2007 James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee. Her many activities include helping educate medical professionals on the links between food choices and good health. What makes her expertise particularly compelling, in my opinion, is that she wants people to relish veggies for their great taste as well as nutritional content.


“My goal is to completely erase the line in the sand between what’s healthful and what’s delicious,” she told Lia Huber of, which recently featured recipes for five of her vegetable dishes. They include this delish dish starring eggplant, one of my favorite members of the nightshade family.


Mollie Katzen’s Southeast Asian-style eggplant

  • 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil

  • 2 large eggplants (about 3 pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise (½-inch thick) and then crosswise into ½ inch-thick sticks

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 Serrano chile peppers, thinly sliced

  • ⅓ cup dry sherry or ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Place a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Swirl in oil to coat pan. Add eggplant, onion and salt and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, peppers, and sherry and cook, stirring, 5 minutes longer.

Combine water, brown sugar, soy sauce and lime juice in small bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Stir into eggplant mixture. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes or until eggplant has reduced in volume by about half. Remove from heat and stir in mint.

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