Soy Braised Eggplant with Zucchini and Mushrooms

1/2 pound chinese eggplants, trimmed
1/2 pound white button mushrooms
1/2 pound small zucchini (5-6 inches length)
2 plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Remove stems and cut eggplants in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices. Set aside.

Wipe mushrooms clean with damp cloth, then trim off and discard bottom of stems. Cut caps into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice thinly on diagonal into 1/8-inch thick slices.

Cook tomatoes in boiling water 1 minute, just to loosen skins. Peel, slice and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and sauté over high heat for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add eggplants and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add zucchini, jalapeno, stock and soy sauce. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until stock has evaporated and vegetables are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Note: Chinese eggplants are 6 to 10 inches long (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and lavender in color. There's no need to salt to remove bitterness for they are naturally sweet and skin does not need to be peeled. Regular eggplant may be substituted but it must be peeled and salted to remove bitter juices.



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