Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lunch Week 27: Braised Eggplant with Pork

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Braised Eggplant with Pork
I've been doing a lot of traveling lately and it's definitely got me craving Asian food, the food that I grew up with. So when I came back home, I was determined to make some familiar food for lunch. A friend had an abundance of eggplants this year in his garden so he gave us some. I took them and immediately thought about Chinese braised eggplant.

First I took some pork chops, trimmed the fat off, and cut it up into cubes. Then I marinated it with dark and light soy sauce, mirin, corn starch, and sesame oil.

Then I took the eggplant and cubed it up into large pieces. The eggplant will release a lot of water in the cooking process and shrink significantly.
I also cut up 2 large red onions add some sweetness to the dish.
Lastly, I chopped up some garlic. Okay, lots of garlic.
In a large pot, I added some vegetable oil and then the garlic. Once it becomes fragrant, I added the pork. I seared it until browned nicely on all sides.
Once the pork was browned and slightly cooked, I added the eggplant to the pot. I covered it and let them soften. Once softened, I added the onion and some water. I mixed it and turned the heat up until simmering. Then I lowered the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
At the end of the dish, the eggplant should be completely softened as well as the onion too. There should be lots of sauce to go over the rice (which I made while simmering this dish).
The pork is salty but good. The eggplant is really soft but absorbed all the flavor from the sauce. The onions just melted into the dish. The rice acts as a good side to the relatively saucy dish. The dish normally would include black beans but I left my supply at someone's house. I think it would have added another layer of richness and flavor to the overall dish. Other than that, I was pretty happy with how it came out.

1 comment:

  1. Looks awesome and seems relatively simple to make! Nice!

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