Sunday, October 01, 2006

Asian Inspired Eggplant & Invisible Sushi

After finally getting a sushi mat and some sushi rice (I got brown as I can only bring myself to eat white rice when we're out at restaurants. Keeps us eating more brown overall this way), I thought it high time I tried my hand at rolling my own sushi.

My MOST favorite accompaniment at our fave sushi place is their Aged Nasu, which is basically braised eggplant with a gingery sweet sauce over the top of it. Not sure how they make their sauce, I did a bit of searching around on the internet and combined a few recipes. The result? AMAZING! Not exactly what we get at the sushi restaurant (theirs is sweeter), but I honestly liked mine better. I liked that the one I made had much more ginger and garlic flavor and the little bits of both in this sauce were just heaven! Here's the recipe:

Asian Inspired Eggplant

1 heaping Tbs gingerroot, minced

3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

3 Tbs tamari

1 Tbs rice vinegar
/2 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbs. brown sugar

1/4 tsp cornstarch

1 lg eggplant

1 Tbs oil (I used canola)

1/4 c. water

Combine first 7 ingredients and set aside. Cut top off eggplant and cut in half, lenghtwise. Cut criss cross marks in the flesh of each half, making sure not to pierce thru the skin of the eggplant. Heat Tbs of oil in skillet that will hold both halves on med. heat. Place eggplants, cut side down, in the skillet, add water,
cover, and cook 10 min, or until it's browned a little and cooked thru. Remove eggplant, add sauce to hot skillet and simmer for about 3 min, or until sauce thickents. Pour sauce over eggplant and serve!

Seriously. It was amazing. I will be making this again and again, with and without sushi.

Speaking of the sushi....I took a tip from Chris and Darlene of Eat Air and decided to make PPK's spicy tempeh rolls. I didn't have pepper oil, so I just used a little canola oil with some chili powder, then added a bit of salt and some red pepper flakes to the tempeh when adding the veganaise. I'd like to try this with actual pepper oil or tinker with it to give it more flavor. it was a little bland. Should have just added tamari or something.
I added that, cukes, carrots, scallions, and avacado and got to rolling.

As I've never done this before, the whole thing was new to me... and not quite successful. Basically, the first roll I made I had to eat like a hand roll as it was a
m-e-s-s. The second I served to my husband and it was better, but not anywhere near good yet. The third actually held together okay and I think, had I had to make any more I may just have gotten the knack of it! I tried to take a picture, but the flash didn't go off, making it reeeally blurry...then....the battery died. So I give you the worst picture you're ever likely to encounter here just to show that I did attempt it and it was fresh and delicious, if not totally messy and obviously rolled by a total nubie in the sushi rolling dept. :)

On a totally non asian inspired note....

I think we may have perfected the parts of my new favorite salad. It's funny, every time I make it I add something new and the flavor gets better and better. First, there was the added sundried tomatoes and avacado. Then there was the addition of Hemp Seed. Last night I roasted some portabello caps (just drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled on some sea salt and some fresh black pepper then tossed in a 450 oven for 20 min)...and perfecto! My most favorite Caesar Salad EVA was born. And now I promise to stop posting pictures of this salad, even if it does show up on our table at LEAST once a week. hehe.


B said...

That eggplant recipe looks great!

Jackie said...

The eggplant looks great, must try it as they are in season now.

Like your salad, must taste wonderful. Portabelo mushrooms are my favorite as they are really tasty.

I am now really hungry after reading everyones recipes :)

Dr. Melissa West said...

This looks so good. I love eggplant! I am going to mark this recipe and try it myself. Actually you have inspired me to try my hand at sushi again. We love the avacado rolls, so really we could make those at home. Is there such a thing as brown sushi rice or are you just using brown rice? I haven't made sushi in about 8 years, I think I threw out my sushi rice. Gotta try it again. Love the portabellos on top of the salad!

Nikk said...

Everything looks fantastic. I'm an eggplant fiend-I will have to try this soon!

Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! said...

K's mom- thanks! I can't seem to comment on your blog at all. Just being there locks up my computer. weird!

jackie- I am in love with this eggplant recipe. I foresee me making it a LOT in the future. :)
The 'shrooms really made the salad go from amazing to perfect. Already planning on tossing that one together again soon.

mwest- I know now that rolling sushi is an art, and while patience is not my thing, I'm hoping to get it right the next time. i love sushi and would love to make it at home more often.
it's brown sushi rice. I got it from the Oriental Pantry web site. they're great and very reasonably priced. If you have a pressure cooker it should come out perfect. mine's just a touch underdone as we don't have one.

nikki- ooh, do! I promise you won't be disappointed! :)

laura k said...

I'm so glad you shared the eggplant recipe--I have an eggplant I've been wondering what to do with, AND I have some leftover sauce very much like the one you made, AND I was just beginning to think about what I should make for dinner tonight!! Thanks!

Too bad about the sushi shot--it still looks great!