Monday, July 17, 2017

Burmese Eggplant & Fried Anchovies in Coconut Sauce

Khayun Thee
Japanese eggplant are my favourite because they are practically seedless. It's only recently that this type of eggplant is being stocked at our local supermarket. Hubby usually does our regular grocery shopping, but it's my pleasure to shop at the Asian markets. We have Indian, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean markets within 5 miles of our home. Each market has something different and unique to offer foodies like me, like these Korean fried anchovies.

Korean Fried Anchovies
The anchovies are fried with chili powder and packed in oil. Stir-fried eggplant takes on a whole new flavour when they are cooked with anchovies. The dish could be cooked until dry and served with hot rice.

Dry Fried Eggplant & Anchovies
A slight twist was introduced today to add a cup of coconut milk to the pan just before removing from the heat. This left a little gravy that is always welcome when anything is eaten with rice.

4-6 oriental eggplants, cubed
*8 oz. fried anchovies (from Korean store)
2 medium onions, quartered
6 garlic cloves, halved
2 dried red chillies, soaked
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. paprika or Kashmiri mirch
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional)
1 cup coconut milk
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Green onions or cilantro, chopped

1. Sprinkle salt over eggplants in a colander and set aside.
2. Blanch onions and garlic in a cup of boiling water, strain and set hot water aside.
3. Puree all ingredients except eggplants, anchovies, cilantro and oil.
5. Heat oil over high heat and add pureed ingredients.
6. Simmer over medium-low heat until oil resurfaces.
7. Add reserved hot water and bring to a brisk boil.
8. Simmer gravy for 5 minutes and add eggplants & anchovies to saucepan.
9. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until all the moisture has evaporated and eggplants are cooked.
10. Add coconut milk around the edges and gently incorporate into eggplants.
11. Adjust salt to taste, bring to a boil, stir and remove from heat.
12. Garnish with green onions or cilantro and serve with hot cooked rice.

*The Korean fried anchovies can be replaced with any small dried fish or, even better, a can of anchovies in olive oil. 

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