It’s time we settled the old Hellman’s vs Miracle Whip debate once and for all; Japanese mayo is the best mayo hands down. Richer, thicker, and with more yolky goodness than its American counterparts, it is essential to this Roasted Sesame Dressing. (And this Potato read more
Got a bumper crop of eggplants? This Eggplant Dip is an effortlessly delicious way to use them up! The eggplant gets broiled until the flesh is meltingly tender, with the slightly charred and smoky flavor you’d get from the grill. Without the whole standing outside in the heat over a grill part. Served with pita chips, this is perfect summer fare.
Eggplants Love High Heat!
Whether it’s Lebanon’s baba ganoush, Morocco’s roasted eggplant salads, or Italy’s deep fried eggplant parmesan, eggplant benefits from high heat cooking methods. The flesh is rendered so soft and silky you can eat it with a spoon, and the heat concentrates the natural sugar. So if you know someone who says ‘eggplant is bitter’, whip up this eggplant dish and change their mind!
While I’m waiting for the eggplant to cool, I make the flavor base for the dip.
Spiced Eggplant Dip
The seasonings really make this eggplant dip sing. Tomato paste and paprika add to the smoky flavor. Cinnamon and cumin add earthy warmth. Peanut butter and cilantro bring an unexpected Southeast Asian twist. I start by sautéing an onion.
Stir in the spices and cook for another minute.
I like this dip a little chunky, so I pulse it about 10 times. If you would prefer it to be completely smooth you can skip the pulsing part and just process it to a smooth paste.
If you manage to not devour all of it with some pita chips, this eggplant dip makes an excellent sandwich spread. Or serve it with some plant based dishes for a fun mix and match meatless meal. It would be wonderful served alongside:
Try this Eggplant Dip and let me know what you think. Take a moment to rate the recipe below and leave a comment. And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 2 large globe eggplants
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 medium onion chopped (or ¾ large onion)
- 2 Tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (almond would be fine too)
- 1 large handful of cilantro leaves (about ¼ bunch) chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat your oven on broil high or heat a cast iron skillet until very hot. Put the eggplant on a baking tray as close to the broiling element as you can and broil for about 20-25 mins, rotating a little every 5-6 mins. The eggplant should be very soft and a little charred.
- Or if using the cast iron skillet, heat the skillet for several minutes on medium high. Cook the eggplant for 5-6 minutes, then rotate the eggplant. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until very soft and charred.
- Put the eggplant in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil, the diced onion, and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-6 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and the tomato paste. Saute for another 2-3 mins.
- Add the cumin, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and paprika. Stir the ingredients to combine them, cooking for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
- Trim off the end of the eggplant, cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh, and add the eggplant to the food processor.
- Add the contents of the pan to the food processor plus the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, peanut butter, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Pulse the mixture approximately 10 times, until it has broken down but still a little chunky.
- If you prefer it smooth, pulse a couple more times or just turn it on for a couple seconds.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed and serve eggplant dip with bread, crudité, or as a condiment to a large meal.
Keywords: eggplant, peanuts, cilantro, dips, southeast asian, dips, condiments
I love condiments. They are the easiest way I know to add lots of new flavor to old favorites. You can make a weekly steamed fish and change it up just by topping it with a different condiment each time. I love creating my own as well, and this Young Ginger Condiment is a favorite. Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes gives you a fresh and exciting topping that lasts for weeks! You will come up with endless ways to use it, so let’s get started!
My mom goes back to Japan a couple times a year and always brings home a suitcase full of treats. And no other country makes it as easy to bring home food gifts as Japan. This “omiyage” culture is truly the best thing ever created to those of us who b. So one year, my mom gave me a small packet of chopped ginger and the suggested uses were as a topping for rice and tofu. I like ginger but I loved this little condiment. This humble looking condiment was seriously the most delicious and memorable gift in the entire bag.
But young ginger is a specialty item and can be difficult to find. Luckily for me, my friend Adena at LNB Grovestand grows it. Her family farm specializes in tropical fruit like avocados, lychees, and bananas, but they always have some fun experimental things growing, like tumeric and roselle. So one day she sent me some young ginger. And the memory of that chopped ginger condiment came racing back. I had to make some.
Young ginger is similar to baby potatoes. Both have soft skin that is easy to peel and creamy colored flesh. Young ginger is a much more mild version of its older self, with a nice sweetness and a floral aroma. Unlike the gnarled ginger root that you find in the grocery store, which is grown for at least a year, young ginger is harvested at about 6 months. You may find it with green shoots still attached, and the skin might be tinged with pink. The pickled ginger that is so ubiquitous at sushi restaurants is normally made with young ginger because of its gentle heat and mild flavor. You can find it when it’s season at Asian grocers, or at some farmers markets. You can also use regular ginger, just be aware that your condiment will much more pungent and peppery.
Making my Young Ginger Condiment is so easy. The hardest part is cutting all that ginger. It has to be done by hand because if you try to do it in a food processor, it will turn into ginger paste. First get your ginger ready by scraping off the skin. I use a small demitasse spoon but any teaspoon would work too. Don’t use a peeler or anything that would cut into the flesh. You want to preserve as much of the ginger as possible and the skin should peel off rather easily. Then get to chopping.
You will have a LOT of minced ginger:
Now it’s time to make the sauce. I use mirin for sweetness, soy sauce for savory depth, and a touch of dashi powder for some funky umami flavor. I just heat all the ingredients to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and let it cool. Since this is a condiment meant to flavor bland foods, it should be a bit saltier than something you would eat on its own.
All that’s left to do is to transfer the Young Ginger Condiment into a clean container and store in the fridge.
Now is where the real fun begins. What dishes will you enliven with your new condiment?! Dollop some onto noodles. Add it to a veggie stir fry. Spoon on top of steamed tofu…the possibilities are endless. Gingered avocado toast, anyone? Here are some more dishes that would love a little ginger embellishment:
However you end up enjoying it, let us know. Leave a comment and rate the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 6 oz young ginger
- 2/3 cup mirin
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
- Use the edge of a small spoon or a vegetable brush and peel the ginger. Next finely mince the ginger. You’ll need to do this by hand.
- Place the ginger into a storage container.
- Add the mirin, soy sauce, salt, and dashi powder to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it boils. turn the heat off and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
- Pour the sauce over the ginger. Stir to combine. Store the ginger in the fridge until ready to use.
- The sauce lasts for several weeks in the fridge. (Always use a clean utensil when spooning the ginger out of the container).
*To make this gluten free be sure to use gluten free soy sauce
*If you are a vegetarian, use vegetarian dashi powder or just omit
Keywords: asian condiments, young ginger