Saturday, March 01, 2008

Eggplant, shrimp & saffron stir-fry

Eggplant is a vegetable that you can't possibly mess up. Right away I already think of an Italian appetiser - sliced eggplant marinated with olive oil and vinegar, and a super-simple Chinese main dish - steamed eggplant with sea salt and peanut oil. So delicious, so easy.

People say that eggplant is slimy, I say silky.

People say that it is so troublesome to add salt first (to get rid of the bitter juice). Hey, I don't do it and mine always turns out fine. If the crop is bitter itself, it is still bitter anyway.

But for me, cooking a "better" eggplant dish does require adequate oil, that shouldn't be just teaspoonful, but tablespoonfulssssss.

Because of that much oil, with the high heat, spice, garlic and meat juice are beautifully caramelized. Saffron is widely used in local cruisine, I learn from them and threw a tiny bit in. Eggplant totally sponges up the essence of every flavor.

Recipe of Eggplant, Shrimp and Saffron stir-fry

Ingredients (yield a main dish for 2 - 3 persons)

  • 300 g eggplants... asian type or not, it doesn't bother me, chucked
  • 20 medium shelled shrimps
  • 1 + 1 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 dried red chilly, crushed
  • a pinch onion powder
  • a small pinch of saffron
  • seafood broth
  • cooking oil and sea salt
  • parsley leaves


  1. Pre-heat your skillet/wok, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, add 1 clove of diced garlic, quick stir-fry the shrimps for about 30 seconds. Scoop them on a plate and set aside.
  2. Don't wash the wok, add 2-3 more tablespoons of oil, and saute the chilly and (1) garlic over medium/ medium-low heat until the fragrance arises but before they get burn. Raise up the heat, add eggplant, onion powder and some salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or so, add broth and cook until it starts looking tender.
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of saffron, stir. Add shrimps, season. Stir fry for another minute or until the shrimps cook through, add parsley, then it is done. Serve hot with rice.



FH said...

Hi Gattina, you make everything look so elegant in your blog! It's a pleasure to look at the photos with dishes here. That's why I gave you a well deserved "Excellent blog" award, take it from FH!:)
Have a wonderful weekend.

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot for your nice word about me and my blog here. I really wish this can be a part of my round up , don't want to miss this lovley picture and entry too. I keep it veg special to inspire people to cook veggie items more. I think I will still showcase this as an exception ,coz you did it by mistake. I hope from next time i can get such lovely pic of vegetarian dish from you .

I wonder how did you manage to keep the eggplant skin so thin and yet good in shape to decorate this with ?
Normally i don't like looking at non-veg dish even , but your extra ordinary photography makes me see this , read the process of it too and compels me to leave a note for your wonderful work.
Hugs to you ...

Pooja said...

forgot to say , check out, there is something you like the most, I though of you while publishing that post . You might like that too :) , and you know I make easy dishes coz basically I prefer cooking to be a fun by not spending much time in kitchen :)), a lazy girl I am :D.

Mishmash ! said...

you should be paid for this level of creativity! Who could think of such a n elegant plating !!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I have never seen eggplant look so elegant!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a visual effect!

sher said...

I loved the Carrie Bradshaw remark! :):) And the plating of this dish is so marvelous. As always, I enjoy almost meditating as I look at your pictures. They are flawless!

The Culinary Chase said...

Gattina, these look too good to eat! You always have such beautiful photo's! Well done!

Anonymous said...

wow, i don't think i've ever had eggplant that looks that good. beautiful plating!

Amy said...

Wow this is so creative! Your ideas never cease to amaze me Gattina!

Chris said...

I love eggplant and you've made it so perfect! Wonderful presentation.

Gattina Cheung said...

Asha, the award passed from another excellent blogger, you, is a real privilege! You make my blogging journey particularly special and rewarding, don't know whatelse to say... but never say enough thanks to you, my dearest friend!

Rachel, thanks for the compliment.

Pooja, you are not lazy girl, but a genius in creating simply, healthy and delicious dishes! Salute! Yes, am checking out that dish right away!!! Btw, have sent you the link (photo) of the peeler that is to slice very thin veg. Hope you get the idea. But please let me know if there is any question.
Thanks for including my entry... but don't do it if you not comfortable about it. It is very very gracious of you to do that; I think I understand about not seeing meat, I will be more careful in the next round.

Shn, oh sweetie!!! Thank you thank you!!!

Lydia, thanks for the compliment.

Lore, thank you :)

Sher, oh thanks for the compliment. Well, SJP surely dresses to kill... me!

Heather, thanks for always giving me encouragement. You make my day again!

Michelle, thank you for the compliment.

Amy, compliement from another creative cook, you, means particularly special to me. Thank you!

Chris, thank you so much! As I said, eggplant tastes excellent, just isn't photogenic

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, amazing! They look ever so beautiful and appetizing!



aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Beautifully done - the most elegant 'stir-fry' I've ever laid eyes on!

Deborah said...

These are gorgeous and sure to impress!

Katie Zeller said...

Congratulations! I'll go vote now
Those little treats look wonderful - very drool-worthy!

Nina Timm said...

In my mind I can see you fiddle and "play" with your food until it is just right.

You're a genius!!!!