In this Thai curry, seared Asian eggplant simmers in a sauce of shallots, coconut milk, fish sauce, and a quick curry paste with lemongrass.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins
- Active: 25 mins
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
- 1/3 cup packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
- 2 red Thai or serrano chiles, deseeded and roughly chopped (keep the seeds if you like a hotter curry)
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, quartered lengthwise and cut into thirds
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth, stock, or water
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- Steamed rice, for serving
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the lemongrass, cilantro, chiles, garlic, ginger, sugar, and turmeric to a paste. Set aside.
- In a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until very hot. Add the eggplant and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the paste and shallots. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stock or water, and fish sauce, and stir well. Add the eggplant, and bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggplant is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes longer.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice.