✨Sweet & Spicy Glazed Mushrooms & Basil Eggplant Bowl✨
Today’s meal is all about flavor. A simple home made glossy sauce, tossed into crisped mushrooms give this lunch bowl a phenomenal flavor punch. Along with creamy and tender eggplant with basil, and pan blistered Shishito peppers for a bit of spice.
The day is already looking better 😇
Sweet & Spicy Sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sambal (use 1 or 2 for a less spicy version)
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 tsp spicy roasted sesame oil (or regular sesame oil)
2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp agave syrup (or coconut sugar)
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups mushrooms, I used baby portobello or cremini. (Use any mushrooms you have)
Sweet & Spicy Sauce
2 tsp canola oil
2 japanese eggplants, cut into chunks
handful or ~ 10 fresh basil leaves, hand torn
1 sprig green onion, chopped
1 tsp coarse salt
5 or 6 shishito peppers
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
Rest of the bowl:
1/4 cup millets, rinsed and drained
1 cup mixed salad greens, washed
Soy sauce: I prefer to use reduced-sodium soy sauce for more control over the salt content. Even then, this sauce is plenty salty. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away. You could also use tamari to make it gluten free.
Sambal: Widely available near your sriracha and ketchup these days. You could also use a chilli garlic sauce instead.
Sweetness: I prefer to use agave syrup because they lend a mild sweetness without any strong fragrance. You could also use maple syrup, or raw coconut sugar. You could absolutely any regular sugar, I just tend to stay in the “natural sugars” category.
Chinese black vinegar: This type of vinegar is a dark and complex tasting, made from fermented glutinous rice. It’s dark, almost balsamic tones work great in sauces. If you don’t have any on hand, just use rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar instead.
Mushrooms: I love using creminis or baby portobello mushrooms for this recipe because it has a natural pocket that holds the glazed sauce so well. You could absolutely use any other kind of mushroom you happen to have.
Eggplant: I love working with japanese purple eggplants because it has the perfect firmness, and water content. The large american eggplants tend to cook too easily and to me seem rather mellow tasting. Indian and Thai eggplants are quite heavily seeded, which I find gets a bit grainy in quick stir frys. For quick stir fry recipes, my go to is the japanese long purple eggplants.
Millets: I love using millets! Like quinoa, this grain is nutritious, filled with fiber, and micronutrients and work as the perfect replacement for white rice. There are several kinds, especially if you shop at your indian grocery. Any kind you can find works well.
Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisk together thoroughly, and set aside.
Heat a non stick pan with 2 tsp oil, over medium heat. Add measured chopped garlic. Fry for a few seconds.
Add mushrooms, and toss together. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring a few times in between. The mushroom will soften first, then release water, and then start crisping up. Keep the heat relatively high and stay close tossing once in a while.
Once the mushrooms are crispy and golden, pour in the sweet & spicy sauce and toss together. Let cook for a few minutes. You’ll notice the sauce will thicken and start glazing the mushrooms fully coating it. At this stage, remove from heat.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add measured chopped garlic, and a generous handful of fresh basil leaves and chopped green onions.
Fry for a minute, and add in the eggplant; toss around in high heat for a few minutes. This step is key to create a crispy outer crust.
Add a tsp of coarse salt, cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes turning the pieces around every few minutes, until the eggplant is super tender. Remove from heat.
Mix shishito peppers with a tsp of oil in a pan, and turn on high heat. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and mix well. Let cook for a minute on each side until the skin gets completely blistered and the peppers are soft and tender. Takes about 5 minutes.
Wash and rinse 1/4 cup millets. Place in a sauce pot with 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed, and millets are soft an fluffy.
I threw in a handful of fresh salad greens, with a scoop of cooked millets, along with the über glossy and flavor soaked mushrooms, tender basil fried eggplant, and a few shishito peppers. Devour for lunch or dinner.