Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CSA week 19 - Semur terong

which would be steamed eggplant in dark sauce. Eggplant stew is the exact translation from Indonesian, but that doesn't tell you much. "Dark sauce" is all that helpful either, I suppose.

Anyway, I didn't much feel like cooking tonight. I've been suffering from the dreaded oogy tummy syndrome lately. But even if I don't want to eat, I've still got to blog so here we are.

This is a modestly modified version of a recipe from my go to Indonesian cookbook The Indonesian Kitchen. I really ought to get another one of these days just to compare the different takes on the cuisine.

1 pound eggplant, cut horizontally in 1/2 inch thick slices
1 egg, beaten with 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup thin-sliced onion
1/4 cup thin-sliced pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (less if it's fresh)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sweet soy sauce

1. Steam eggplant slices for five minutes. Remove and cool. (I had to pile up my eggplant to fit them all in the steamer. A dual level Chinese-style bamboo steamer might have room to lay everything out. I also found that the eggplant started falling apart as I removed it to a bowl. I decided to just go with that.)

2. Dip eggplant in egg and fry in 4 Tablespoons oil over medium high heat for two to three minutes, until light brown on both sides. (Individually dipping each slice in egg, even if they were holding together, would be a huge pointless pain so I just tossed the eggplant with the egg and dumped it all into a hot pan.) Remove and set aside.

3. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil to pan, heat and add onion, garlic and peppers. Fry two minutes. Add stock, salt, sugar, nutmeg, pepper and sweet soy sauce. Cook three minutes more. Return eggplant and cook two minutes. Serve over rice.

Not much to look at, particularly with the eggplant all broken up like that, but, well, it's not much to taste either. It's rather bland and mushy. Just what my stomach can handle, but that wasn't my intention.

My cookbook has a second semur terong recipe which has made its way out onto the open web, so you can find it here. In retrospect, that looks rather better. Make that instead.


kat said...

Hmmm, eggplant is a tough one to get just right

billjac said...

Yeah, it's funny how cooking it wrong can drain the flavor right out of it. Maybe purging it first would have helped.