Szechwan Eggplant Dip

3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound eggplant, peeled and chopped (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the eggplant and ginger until the eggplant is tender, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to prevent sticking.)

Puree the sautéed eggplant in a food processor or blender, along with the chili paste, vinegar, tahini, tamari and sesame oil.

Spoon the dip into a serving bowl. Stir in half the scallions, and garnish with the other half. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 2 cups.

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