But, wait! Shrimp paste? Shrimp paste is definitely an acquired taste, and luckily, I love the stuff. Aside from its ashen gray, slightly non-appetizing, ugly color, it’s quite pungent as well. If you haven’t tried it before, I encourage you to order something at a restaurant with it (Shrimp Paste Chow Lai Fun). It’s salty and has a distinct odd flavor. You can find it at any Asian market, probably near the black bean sauce aisle and other good stuff. Usually, we have Koon Chun brand shrimp sauce, but this is what I found today.
Hey, it matches my nails. See.. not so appetizing color. Also, it’s made from fermented shrimp.
Today, I decided to roast some eggplants and then stirfry with turkey and shrimp paste/sauce.
3-4 Chinese Eggplants [long one, not the fat short kind]
1/2 small Onion minced
4 cloves Garlic minced
1 tsp Shrimp Paste aka Shrimp Sauce
Ground Pork (optional) You can substitute with any meat, no meat, or firm Tofu. I used chunks of Turkey
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Thoroughly wash your eggplants. Slice off the leaf end and cut it in half. Then, cut it length wise in about half inch slices.
I learned how to cut stuff with a cleaver, but that’s probably not what you should be using. If you have a mandoline, I encourage you to use it! Way safer! Eggplants are slippery/waxy.
I used foil for easy cleanup. Grease it. Place your sliced eggplant on the pan. Drizzle with sea salt and ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and sesame oil. Eggplants tend to soak up the moisture. I used about 2 cloves of minced garlic and sprinkled bits on the eggplant.
I was too lazy to mince by hand, so I used the wonders of the Magic Bullet to mince the garlic and onion. See picture below. You THINK I minced it with the knife, but now you know my secret. I used half of that onion and saved the rest of the minced onion for future use.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Rotate pan, and flip your eggplant over. If it looks dry, you can drizzle more olive oil. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven.
On the stove, saute the minced onion and garlic in olive oil until golden. I added some turkey because it was just laying around. I would definitely use ground pork if I had it, or firm tofu. Cook meat until nicely golden brown, and throw in your roasted eggplant. Your eggplant should be nice and soft. Mix in a teaspoon of shrimp sauce/paste. That stuff is salty! Stir well, and cook for a 3 minutes.
Plate up! If you’re not into shrimp paste/sauce, you can season it with other sauces.