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Why We Make It: Chinese Eggplant


Vegetable cravings are for real. Sometime they are due to the abundance of amazing seasonal produce (shout out to Rodgers Greens and Roots and Fresh Harvest right here in Atlanta). Sometimes it’s after a meat-heavy meal, which recently for me was a delicious, but certainly overboard, dinner at Fogo De Chao. While a Brazilian BBQ feast is fantastic, oftentimes it feels great to have a meatless, veggie packed meal. It’s no surprise that Meatless Monday, Impossibe Foods and Beyond Meat, and other meatless trends are on the rise. While we have our fair share of meat focused offerings at Artichoke, we also wanted to offer a strong selection of vegetarian options.
One of our favorites is the Chinese Eggplant. After living and traveling in Asia; Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and other Asian cuisines and flavors have a special place in our hearts. They are also cuisines where meat is often seen as a condiment, versus the main focus of the dish. That means there are delicious preparations of vegetables found at almost every meal. Our Chinese Eggplant is no exception. We first wok-sear the eggplant to help caramelize the skin and create texture (no one likes eggplant mush!). We then add scallions and red peppers, and toss everything in a chili-garlic sauce that’s the perfect amount of sweet and spicy. This sauce for me is the definition of crave-able and is oh-so satisfying (it can also be found on our new chili-garlic green beans side dish). Even Lindsay's mom who detests spicy foods loves this sauce!
We serve the Chinese Eggplant with steamed jasmine rice, to soak up the yummy sauce, and a choice of side. Our go-to is the grilled bok choy with soy, ginger scallion…you can create a near perfect bite with a little eggplant, rice, and bok choy.
Pro tip: At home, we also like to chop up some peanuts, cashews or whatever nuts we have on hand to add a little crunch on top. Totally optional, but 100% delicious. Our older daughter also loves nuts, so they tend to make an appearance in many meals!