When I say “ugly,” I don’t mean “slightly unattractive," “aesthetically challenged,” or “appearance deficient.” I mean “Chinese crested dog mated with an Orc.”
I mean “the August 22nd Rangers-Orioles game.” (NOTE: This is a baseball score.)
I mean “all the clothes on Go Fug Yourself, but especially this Chloe Sevigny hat.”
I mean "the political prospects of closeted Idaho senator Larry Craig."
In other words, Serious Eats was not kidding when it compared this dish to a bowl of slugs.
Yet, if you can get past the hideous, hideous façade, it's a pleasant surprise – a filling, easily prepared, vegetarian-friendly meal with honest-to-goodness Asian flavor. For health/availability reasons I cut the oil by a third and used a large regular eggplant. Still, damn tasty.
Behold, if you dare...
Broiled Eggplant Japonaise
Adapted from Serious Eats/Jacques Pepin.
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1 gigantic eggplant
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1) Turn on your broiler and cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
2) Cut the stem ends off your eggplant. Proceed slicing the eggplant into long strips, each about 1/2-inch in thickness. Drizzle the oil on the cookie sheet and mix it around with the eggplant. Sprinkle with a little salt. Broil for about 4 or 5 minutes per side, until eggplant is tender.
3) While eggplant is cooking, mix garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and tabasco sauce in a large bowl.
4) Once eggplant is finished, throw into the bowl with the marinade and toss gently, so eggplant is covered. Serve.
Approximate Calorie, Fat, and Price Per Serving
181 calories, 9.9 g fat, $0.57
2 tablespoons Canola oil: 248 calories, 28 g fat, $0.08
1 gigantic eggplant: 230 calories, 1.8 g fat, $1.39
1 clove garlic: 5 calories, 0 g fat, $0.05
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce: 13 calories, 0 g fat, $0.14
1 teaspoon sugar: 46 calories, 0 g fat, $0.01
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce: negligible calories and fat, $0.03
Salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
TOTAL: 542 calories, 29.8 g fat, $1.72
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 181 calories, 9.9 g fat, $0.57