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A Quick and Easy Guide to Making Steamed Brinjal Chinese Recipe

Making Steamed brinjal, also called eggplant or aubergine, is a popular dish in Chinese cooking. This meal is not only easy to make but also nutritious and full of taste. By steaming the brinjal, its natural sweetness and texture are preserved, while the garlic sauce gives it a savoury and mildly spicy flavour.

Eggplants sizzle in a wok with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Steam rises as the vegetables cook, filling the air with a savory aroma

To make this dish, you will need essential ingredients such as garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Chinese pickled chilli, minced meat, and black rice vinegar can also be used to enhance the flavour. Once you have gathered all the ingredients, you can prepare the brinjal by slicing it into small pieces and letting it rest in salt for 20-25 minutes. This helps to remove any bitterness and excess moisture from the brinjal.

Steamed brinjal with garlic sauce can be served as a side dish or a main course. It pairs well with steamed rice or noodles. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious Chinese recipe. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about steamed brinjal and suggest some seafood options that can be used to add more variety to the dish.

Key Takeaways

  • Steamed brinjal is a healthy and flavourful Chinese dish that is easy to make.
  • Essential ingredients for this dish include garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil.
  • Steamed brinjal can be served as a side dish or a main course and pairs well with steamed rice or noodles.

Understanding Brinjal

Brinjal being steamed in a Chinese kitchen, surrounded by traditional cooking utensils and ingredients

If you are looking for a healthy and delicious vegetable to add to your diet, look no further than brinjal, also known as eggplant. This versatile fruit can be cooked in many different ways, including steaming, stir-frying, and roasting. In this section, we will explore the different varieties of eggplant and their nutritional value.

Varieties of Eggplant

There are many different varieties of eggplant, but the two most common types are Chinese eggplant and globe eggplant. Chinese eggplants are long and narrow, while globe eggplants are rounder and larger. Both types can be used in this steamed brinjal recipe.

Nutritional Value

Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in many essential nutrients. It is a good source of potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure and heart function. Eggplant is also a good source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Additionally, eggplant is high in fibre, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

If you are looking to add more protein to this dish, consider adding some seafood. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition to this steamed brinjal recipe.

Essential Ingredients

Steamed brinjal, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a wok. Steam rising, aroma filling the air. Ingredients arranged on a wooden cutting board

To make a delicious steamed brinjal Chinese recipe, you will need a few essential ingredients. Here are the key components that you will need to create a flavourful dish:

Seasonings and Sauces

Garlic is an essential ingredient for any steamed brinjal Chinese recipe. It adds a pungent flavour to the dish and complements the other seasonings and sauces. You will need to mince the garlic before adding it to the dish.

Soy sauce is another crucial ingredient in this recipe. It adds a salty flavour to the dish and helps to enhance the umami taste of the brinjal. You can use light soy sauce or dark soy sauce depending on your preference.

Sesame oil is another seasoning that adds a nutty flavour to the dish. It also helps to bring out the flavour of the other ingredients in the dish.

Oyster sauce is an optional ingredient that can be used to add a savoury flavour to the dish. It is made from oyster extract and adds a rich umami taste to the dish.

Additional Flavour Enhancers

Salt and sugar are two ingredients that are used to balance the flavours in the dish. You can adjust the amount of salt and sugar depending on your taste preference.

Vinegar is another ingredient that can be used to add a tangy flavour to the dish. You can use rice vinegar or black vinegar depending on your preference.

Scallions and ginger are two ingredients that can be used to add a fresh flavour to the dish. You can chop the scallions and ginger finely before adding them to the dish.

Chili oil is an optional ingredient that can be used to add a spicy flavour to the dish. You can adjust the amount of chili oil depending on your spice tolerance.

Cornstarch is another ingredient that is used to thicken the sauce in the dish. You can mix cornstarch with water before adding it to the dish to create a thick sauce.

If you are looking to add seafood to the dish, you can use prawns or scallops. These seafood options will complement the flavours in the dish and add a delicious twist to the recipe.

Preparation Techniques

Eggplants being sliced, salted, and steamed in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by ingredients like garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil

Steaming the Brinjal

To prepare the steamed brinjal Chinese recipe, you will need to start by steaming the brinjals. Cut the brinjals into thin strips and place them in a steamer. Steam the brinjals for about 10-15 minutes or until they are tender.

If you don't have a steamer, you can also braise the brinjals in a wok. To do this, add a small amount of oil to the wok and heat it up. Once the oil is hot, add the brinjals and stir-fry them for a few minutes until they are slightly browned. Then add a small amount of water to the wok and cover it with a lid. Allow the brinjals to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they are tender.

Creating the Sauce

While the brinjals are steaming, you can prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together minced garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a small amount of water. You can also add some seafood to the sauce if you like. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition to this recipe.

Once the brinjals are steamed, pour the sauce over them and toss them gently to coat them evenly. Garnish the dish with some chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Overall, the preparation techniques for this steamed brinjal Chinese recipe are simple and easy to follow. Whether you choose to steam or braise the brinjals, the end result will be a delicious and flavourful dish that you can enjoy on its own or as a side dish with your favourite Chinese meal.

Cooking the Dish

Eggplants steaming in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Green onions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top

Combining Ingredients

To make Chinese steamed brinjal, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chinese eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Red chili
  • Minced pork or tofu (for a vegan option)
  • Rice (optional, for serving)

First, slice the eggplant into thin, bite-sized pieces. Then, mince the garlic and red chili. If you are using minced pork, cook it in a pan until it is browned. If you are using tofu, cut it into small cubes and set it aside.

Next, combine the garlic, red chili, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Mix well to create the seasoning sauce.

Finishing Touches

Once you have prepared the ingredients, it's time to steam the eggplant. Place the eggplant pieces in a heat-proof dish and pour the seasoning sauce over them. Add the minced pork or tofu on top of the eggplant.

If you want to add seafood to the dish, you can use shrimp or scallops. Simply place them on top of the eggplant and seasoning sauce before steaming.

Cover the dish with a lid or with foil and place it in a steamer basket. Steam the eggplant for 10-15 minutes, or until it is tender.

Once the eggplant is cooked, remove it from the steamer and garnish it with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with rice, if desired.

This Chinese steamed brinjal recipe is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy eggplant. It's also a great vegan option if you use tofu instead of minced pork.

Serving and Pairing

A steaming hot plate of Chinese-style steamed brinjal, garnished with fresh herbs and paired with a side of fragrant jasmine rice

Accompaniments

Chinese steamed brinjal is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. Rice is the perfect accompaniment to this dish. It is recommended that you use steamed rice, as it complements the texture and flavour of the brinjal. You can also garnish the dish with toasted sesame seeds, spring onion, and cilantro to add a touch of freshness and colour to the dish.

If you want to add a bit of creaminess to the dish, you can serve it with tahini. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a nutty flavour and a creamy texture that complements the brinjal.

Wine Pairing

When it comes to wine pairing, you can pair Chinese steamed brinjal with a variety of wines. The dish has a delicate flavour, so it is best to pair it with a light-bodied wine. A white wine such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc would be a good choice. If you prefer red wine, you can try pairing the dish with a light-bodied Pinot Noir.

If you want to pair the dish with a Chinese wine, you can try pairing it with rice wine. Rice wine is a traditional Chinese wine made from fermented glutinous rice. It has a slightly sweet flavour and a low alcohol content, which makes it a good pairing for the delicate flavours of the brinjal.

If you want to add a bit of spice to the dish, you can sprinkle some white pepper on top of the brinjal. This will add a bit of heat to the dish and bring out the flavours of the wine.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to the dish. Shrimp or scallops would be a good choice. Simply marinate the seafood in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic before adding it to the steamer basket with the brinjal. This will add a new dimension to the dish and make it even more flavourful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Steaming brinjal in a traditional Chinese kitchen, with a pot of boiling water and a plate of freshly cut eggplants

How can you make a vegetarian steamed eggplant dish?

One way to make a vegetarian steamed eggplant dish is to use a combination of soy sauce and sesame oil as the main flavouring agents. You can also add some chopped garlic, ginger, and scallions for extra flavour. Additionally, you can add some diced tofu or mushrooms to the dish to give it some texture and protein.

What's the simplest way to prepare a steamed eggplant dish?

The simplest way to prepare a steamed eggplant dish is to cut the eggplant into small pieces and steam it until it is soft. You can then season it with some soy sauce, sesame oil, and chopped scallions. This is a simple and delicious way to enjoy steamed eggplant.

Can you pair steamed eggplant with rice, and if so, how?

Yes, you can pair steamed eggplant with rice. One way to do this is to serve the steamed eggplant on top of a bed of rice. You can also mix the steamed eggplant with some cooked rice to make a simple and filling meal.

What's the secret to making steamed eggplant with minced pork?

The secret to making steamed eggplant with minced pork is to use a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil as the main flavouring agents. You can also add some chopped garlic and ginger to the dish for extra flavour. Additionally, you can use a mixture of ground pork and diced shrimp for added texture and flavour.

How do you achieve that garlicky flavour in Chinese steamed eggplant?

To achieve a garlicky flavour in Chinese steamed eggplant, you can add some chopped garlic to the dish. You can also use garlic-infused oil to give the dish a stronger garlic flavour. Additionally, you can add some chopped scallions and ginger for extra flavour.

What are the steps to ensure brinjal becomes perfectly soft when steamed?

To ensure that brinjal becomes perfectly soft when steamed, you should first cut it into small pieces or thin slices. You should then steam it for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices. It's important to not overcook the brinjal, as this can cause it to become mushy and lose its texture. You can also add a small amount of water to the steaming dish to prevent the brinjal from drying out.