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Doubanjiang Glazed Eggplant

Whether you're an eggplant lover or not, trust me this will become your new obsession! The eggplant is scored and roasted buttery tender, and infused with the umami, spicy, savory, and full-bodied flavor in the glaze. Take a big bite of the eggplant with some steamy, aromatic rice - it's comfort in a bowl.

Few vegetables can be as perfect a blank canvas as eggplants, they have a subtle, non-threatening, and mild flavor, and at the same time a soft, tender texture that's literally like a sponge that can soak up any seasonings or sauces. Even if you've hated eggplant dishes in the past, I have turned around many eggplant haters with my miso-glazed eggplant and gochujang eggplant, and trust me this one will be no exception!

About Doubanjiang, it is a Chinese fermented broad bean paste with hot chili peppers and other spices. Unlike gochujang or doenjang, which are both Korean and a very ground-up refined paste, Doubanjiang still has fermented whole beans and half beans in it plus visible chili pepper flakes. I absolutely love the texture as it adds so many layers and depth to a dish. And the flavor of Doubanjiang also stands out, it's umami, spicy, and sour.

I served my Doubanjiang eggplant with purple rice, which is made with white short-grain rice mixed with black forbidden rice at a 4:1 ratio. The earthy aroma and steamy chewiness pair amazingly with this eggplant dish. 

Watch the video below for a step by step demonstration and if you try this please tag me on Instagram and Tiktok ^^



INGREDIENTS:

1 large eggplant

1 tablespoon Doubanjiang

2 teaspoon coconut amino

1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari sauce

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

Scallions and sesame seeds for topping


TO MAKE:

- Preheat the oven to 410°F;

- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and score each half on the flesh side with a criss cross patter, be careful not to cut through the skin;

- At this step you can either salt the eggplant or go straight into cooking, it really depends on the eggplants you got, taste a small piece of the flesh, if it's bitter, then you'll want to sprinkle some salt on the flesh side and rub evenly, let them sit for 30 minutes; if it's not bitter, you can skip salting. I always get very tender and fresh eggplants which are not bitter, so I did not salt them;

- In a nonstick pan, heat a large drizzle of oil, and pan sear the eggplants flesh side down first for 3 - 4 minutes or until golden brown;

- Flip them over, sear the skin side for another 3 - 4 minutes until the skin is a little wrinkled, after which, if you want your eggplant to be seared even more you can flip one more time and sear the flesh side again for another minute or two;

- Meanwhile, mix all the glaze ingredients, combine well until smooth;

- Spread the glaze evenly on the seared flesh side of the eggplant;

- Tranfer onto a lined baking sheet if you pan is not oven safe! I'm using the same pan here but refer to the instructions on your pan;

- Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until chopstick tender, the sauce should be bubbling. Feel free to adjust cooking time based on the size of your eggplant, bigger ones take longer to cook through and vice versa;

- Top with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, serve with steamed rice, enjoy!


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