Sesame Eggplant Salad

1 pound eggplant
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions
nappa cabbage leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Trim eggplant; peel and dice into 3/4-inch cubes.

Salt eggplant; allow to drain for 30 minutes, then pat dry.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet; add eggplant and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggplant is barely tender. Drain eggplant in colander and press out excess oil.

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, pepper and scallions. Add the eggplant; toss to coat thoroughly. Serve warm or chilled.

At serving time, line salad plates with Nappa leaves, spoon eggplant salad over leaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings.

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