Vegan Spicy Thai Basil & Mint Eggplant

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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vromans front vromans back

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OK – this dish is easy & really delicious but virtually impossible to make look pretty in a photo.   My Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant (seen below) is also delicious but I am starting to get bummed out about how much sugar goes into these various (though insanely yummy) Asian dishes I have been posting.  This one has none – so it is just that much healthier for you.

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To be honest – I used 1/4 cup of this amazing fish sauce in the version I prepared & it adds a lovely level of flavor but it most definitely is not necessary.

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Also – I used these very sad looking Japanese eggplants that have been in my fridge until far past their prime – as you can see.  But I loathe wasting food (and I always think of The Diary of Anne Frank & what they survived on) & these guys – despite looking pathetic were still very firm & the insides were still creamy white & perfectly fine.

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I used sweet mini peppers because I had them & because they add a nice variety of color.  I also happened to have Thai chilies but any hot peppers will work.  I used the combo you see above – Thai chilies and both red & green jalapenos.  Serranos would be fine, too.

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Vegan Spicy Thai Basil & Mint Eggplant

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice

5 Japanese eggplant – cut into cubes or any way you like

1 onion – diced

2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS sesame oil

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 jalapenos (red and/or green) – seeded & diced (use more or less to suit your taste)

1 red bell pepper or 8 mini sweet peppers – cut into strips

4+ Thai peppers – split lengthwise – tops on (or additional jalapeno or serrano peppers)

1/4 soy sauce (or more to taste)

1/4 fish sauce (omit if you are vegan)

1/4 cup water

1 packed cup fresh mint – chopped

1 packed cup Thai (or other) basil – chopped

Lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

Cook up some rice.

Heat the sesame & olive oil in a wok or large saute pan over med-high heat.  Saute the onion, hot peppers, bell or mini peppers until they soften.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.

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Add the eggplant & the soy sauce, fish sauce (if using) and the water.  Saute until the eggplant softens.  Cover the pan to hasten this process.

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When the vegetables are as tender as you want them – stir in the mint & basil.  Season with more soy sauce or maybe salt – though I did not.

Serve this up with some rice & some limes wedges (maybe extra basil or mint as garnish) & enjoy!!!  Oh – and if you used Thai peppers you might want to remove them.  I wouldn’t suggest eating them unless you are a heat freak.

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