Oil Free Spicy Roasted Asian Eggplant! If these saucy flavor-packed eggplant boats don’t convince you to try Chinese eggplant, we don’t know what will.
Bold, savory, with a pow of heat, this Oil Free Spicy Roasted Asian Eggplant recipe is easy to make and oh-so-delicious. In just a few simple steps you will have a better-than-takeout dish that the whole family will love. Enjoy it with steamed rice and sliced green onion for a spectacular dish worthy to serve guests.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This dish is so yummy, we talked about it for weeks on end. The whole family devoured it.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This is an oil-free, vegan nod to a Spicy Asian Roasted Eggplant dish. It is absolutely delicious! This dish intentionally has a little heat from the cayenne pepper. You can control the heat by scaling back on the cayenne pepper.
- Chinese Eggplant versus Regular Eggplant: Chinese eggplants are used because they are long, and the width is slim. The skins on Chinese eggplants are thin and mild. If you can’t find Chinese eggplant, you could potentially use regular eggplant and cut them into 1-inch slices – lengthwise or rounds and bake them until perfectly tender. You may need to follow “salt-pulling” steps to help get rid of bitterness.
- Heat Substitutions: You can substitute the cayenne pepper for Chili Garlic Sauce if you wish. You can leave the cayenne pepper out completely if you wish.
- Sauciness: This recipe does not have a lot of sauciness. If you want sauciness, consider doubling the sauce.
- Crosshatch Scoring: Crosshatch scoring is simply cutting into the eggplant first at one angle then at another angle in a diamond pattern crisscross fashion. Here is a YouTube on How to Score a Chinese Eggplant. The different here is that we do not cut the eggplant into pieces. You want 2 halves cut lengthwise. The second thing to note is that we do not cut through the skin. You want to cut right up to the skin, but not through it.
- Spooning the Sauce onto the Eggplant: When coating the eggplant, spoon a nice coating of the sauce directly over the entire surface of the eggplant; however, do not overcoat them in sauce. In other words, do not pour the sauce over the eggplant where it falls over the sides of the eggplant and onto the bottom of the baking pan. Completely coat the tops but avoid the sauce dripping over the edges. What happens is the sauce will drip over the edges and these drips will burn on the baking pan.
- Saltiness of the Dish: Our family was completely divided over the saltiness of this dish. Some felt the dish was perfect, while other felt it was a tiny bit salty. Rinse the eggplants gently, but thoroughly to remove any excess sea salt after the sea salt rub/rest. The eggplants will naturally absorb sea salt in Step 1. This sea salt rub removes excess moisture from the eggplant as well as any bitterness. If you have any concerns, scale back the tamari to 2 tablespoons and increase the vegetable broth by 1 tablespoon.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep 4 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This dish can be frozen.
- Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients. Feel free to use your favorite vegetable broth.
- Molasses: We used Grandma’s Unsulfured Original Molasses. Feel free to use your favorite molasses. We do not recommend black strap molasses. You can leave the molasses out of the dish if you wish. The molasses adds excellent depth of flavor and is reminiscent of brown sugar.
- Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
- Baking pan
Bold, savory, with a pow of heat, this Oil Free Spicy Roasted Asian Eggplant recipe is easy to make and oh-so-delicious.
- 2 medium-sized Chinese eggplants, sliced in half
- Sprinkle sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 3 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (+/-) *
- ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth (+/-) *
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (+/-)
- 1 teaspoon molasses *
- 1 Tablespoon white miso *
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup finely sliced green onions
- Pinch to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (+/-)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
Optional Topping Ingredients:
- Freshly sliced green onions
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, then crosshatch score them. Repeat with the other eggplant. Place the cut and scored eggplant into a dish, cut side up. Sprinkle the cut-side of the eggplant with sea salt. Rub the sea salt into the cut-side of the eggplant flesh. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, while the eggplant is resting, make the sauce by placing all the Sauce Ingredients into a small microwaveable bowl, whisk well to combine, then microwave for approximately 3 minutes on high until the sauce becomes thick and bubbly. Or place the Sauce Ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until boiling, then immediately reduce the heat and cook for several minutes until thick. Set aside and allow the sauce to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- After 30 minutes, gently rinse the salted eggplants with cold water and pat dry each of the eggplant slices, then place them in baking dish.
- Spoon approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of the sauce over each of the eggplant slices. Spread the sauce all over the flesh of the cut/scored side of the eggplant. You will have sauce leftover. Be careful not to let any of the sauce fall onto the baking pan (see notes). Then place the baking pan, uncovered, in a preheated 400F oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the eggplant and add any additional sauce, pour it over the eggplant and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. It’s fine if the sauce drips over the sides into the baking pan this time.
- After 5 minutes, remove from the oven, allow to set for 4 minutes, then serve with extra sauce spooned over top with steamed rice and some freshly sliced green onions.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5
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