Eggplant tossed in a sweet and salty sauce, this Thai Basil Eggplant is a delicious way to enjoy eggplants. Vegan and gluten-free, goes well with rice or noodles!
Start by slicing the eggplant, peppers and onion. Remember to not slice the eggplant very thin or very thick and also do use Japanese eggplant for this recipe. I have had the best results with this eggplant.
Next, to a blender add all ingredients for the sauce (2.5 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1-2 teaspoons sriracha, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, pinch coriander & cinnamon powder and 1/3 cup water). Blend until all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and set aside.
Now, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium high heat. Once hot, add the sliced peppers and onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on high heat, they should remain crunchy. Remove on a plate lined with paper towel.
To the same pan now add 2 tablespoons oil and stir in the sliced eggplant.
Turn heat to medium and cook stirring often until the eggplants are done. I did this in 2 batches as all eggplant slices should be in single layer and my pan wasn't big enough. If you have a large enough pan, you can do this in a single batch.
Keep sprinkling water in between while cooking the eggplant and also stir it often. I cooked mine for around 7 to 8 minutes until it was soft yet was holding its shape. Remember while sprinkling water, don't add a ton of it, you don't want watery eggplant. Once cooked, transfer cooked eggplant on a plate lined with paper towel.
To another pan or use the same pan now add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add the garlic and ginger, green chili and cook for 1 to 2 minute until it starts changing color.
Stir in the prepared sauce to the pan and then stir in the prepared cornstarch slurry. Make sure to stir it before adding as cornstarch settles down at the bottom when left unattended.
Stir the sauce and increase the heat to high, the sauce will simmer and thicken in few minutes.
Then add in the pan fried eggplant, peppers and onion. Also add 1/2 cup chopped thai basil.
Stir until all veggies are coated with the sauce. Add salt if needed. Lower the heat to low and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Garnish with more basil and serve Thai Basil Eggplant with rice or noodles. I love mine with brown rice!
The sauce is replacement for hoisin sauce. It might taste like peanut butter initially but once the flavors come together, you can't really taste peanut butter.