How to Properly Cook Eggplant

By Betchy Crocker

Once again, we’re going to de-mystify a vegetable that probably seems a little intimidating to the novice cook. And, once again, I’m sure you’ll let me know that my technique is wrong because it’s not how Great Aunt Suzy did it and she’s the best cook and cat-caretaker in the world.

The good news about eggplant is that it’s extremely fucking versatile. I mean, you can roast, sauté, fry, bake, or broil this purply vegetable AND have it stand it for meat. No joke.

For the easiest preparation, sautéing is probably the way to go since you have less of a chance of forgetting it in the oven or dealing with breading, frying, and fucking up your dinner. Enjoy this revamped recipe from Real Simple for a meatless Monday AND if you’re ashamed to order out again.


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (can totally be omitted if you just don’t want the carbssss)
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound firm tofu—drained, patted dry, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chili, sliced
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

If using/eating, cook the rice according to package directions – set aside. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Add the tofu and cook (turn it occasionally) until it gets kind of golden brown. It should take about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a separate plate. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the same skillet you just browned the tofu in. Add the eggplant, scallion whites, garlic, chili and a pinch of salt.

Cook, tossing and turning the ingredients frequently, until the eggplant is tender – about 10 minutes if you’re fucking doing it right. Add the hoisin mixture, tofu, and scallion greens and cook the whole thing until the sauce thickens up and isn’t “watery” anymore. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve over rice if you neeeeeed the carbs.




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