I love broiling eggplant. Since the oven’s heat hits the eggplant from above (as opposed to from below like on a grill) it’s easier to baste the eggplant with a flavorful sauce and have the sauce stay put to really sear into the eggplant’s flesh.
Last week when I came across a few firm purple Chinese eggplants, I decided to pick them up to broil for dinner. To make the sauce I picked up some really smooth fresh ginger, a few Thai chiles, a bag of my favorite Jasmine rice and a thick bone-in pork chop for the grill.
Before I broiled the eggplant I put together the sauce:
I minced a tablespoon each of ginger and garlic and thinly sliced a Thai chile. I put those in a bowl along with two tablespoons each of soy sauce and lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and one teaspoon of peanut oil.
Then I whisked those together with a basting brush.
I cut two eggplants into half-inch strips lengthwise; I wanted them to be thin enough to cook through before they burned, but thick enough that their centers would stay moist. Then I lined them up on a small aluminum-clad broiling pan.
I preheated the broiler to high and generously brushed the tops of the slices with the sauce.
I slid the pan about 8-inches beneath the broiler and left them alone to broil on the first side.
After about 8 minutes, they were brown. I flipped them over and basted the second side with the sauce, and broiled them for another 8 minutes.
They were crisp on the outside, steamy and pillowy on the inside, and infused with the salty umami taste of the soy, chile heat, aromatic ginger, pungent garlic and nutty sesame and peanut oils. They were delicious draped over a pile of Jasmine rice alongside a simply seasoned grilled pork chop.