I think the first time I tried Thai food wasn’t until college. I had always opted for Chinese food. Maybe Thai was harder to find or I was just stuck in a rut. But, now I keep a balanced mind when it comes to Asian food. The fresh herbs and thin sauces of Thai food satisfy my cravings for eastern flavors without the added heaviness or cornstarch.
I came across spicy eggplant at one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Flagstaff, AZ and instantly wanted to make it at home. The restaurant served theirs with hamburger, but I have eliminated it and transformed this dish into a spicy and satiating vegetarian meal.
Crushed Red Pepper
Red Pepper, sliced
1 T. Soy Sauce
4 T. Brown Sugar
4 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 t. Paprika
1/2 t. Cayenne Pepper
In a large skillet, heat oil with red pepper flakes and garlic. Saute the eggplant until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and add onion and pepper. Saute until slightly soft, but not browned. Add eggplant and toss to combine. Sprinkle paprika and cayenne pepper over veggies and stir until evenly distributed.
In a separate bowl, combine, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
Add sauce to veggies and toss to combine. At the last minute, add the ripped basil. Serve with rice or over egg noodles.
*If you’re a fan of Pad Thai, use this sauce recipe over egg noodles, chicken and shrimp. It’s got a beautiful kick that works well with almost any stir-fry.