Eggplant Dip (Asian-Inspired)
This not-your-classic eggplant dip (Baba Ghanoush) has an Asian twist with sauteed onions, garlic, ginger, soy and rice wine. It's super flavorful, luxurious, slightly smoky and very tasty.
Servings (change as needed): 4 -5 (yield: about 1 cup)
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound/450 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine (or lemon juice)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
- Optional: 2-3 drops sesame oil or more, fresh parsley or cilantro
GRILL EGGPLANT: Heat grill to high. Pierce eggplant in several spots with a sharp knife. Place eggplant on grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Eggplant is ready when very soft (pierced through with knife) and charred. (To ROAST instead, see NOTE 1). Transfer to colander and slit eggplant open. Let extra moisture drain and cool. Scrape flesh off eggplant skin and remove seeds (if any).
MAKE FLAVOR MIXTURE: While eggplant is grilling, heat oil in a small pan to medium heat. Add onions and saute 5-6 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add soy, brown sugar, rice wine, chili flakes and salt. Bring to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
BLEND EGGPLANT DIP: Place cooked eggplant flesh in food processor. Add onion mixture. Process until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion stick blender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Add a few drops of sesame oil if using (I do). Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve this creamy dip cold, warm or at room temperature with pita chips, crusty bread, raw vegetables or crackers.
Nutrition values are estimates for 1/4 cup/60 grams of eggplant dip.
- To roast whole eggplants: Heat oven to 425F/218C. Rub eggplants with olive oil and pierce with a knife in several places. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes until very tender. Using a pair of tongs, turn it once or twice part way through. Slit the charred eggplants open to remove the excess liquid.
Seasonings: Adjust the amounts of ginger, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and garlic to your taste. Add as much or as little heat as your taste buds like with more or less red pepper flakes (or sriracha). Smoked paprika adds a bit of smoky flavor, especially if you chose to roast your eggplant in the oven instead of on the grill. You can also add a drop or two of sesame oil.
Garnishes: Fresh herbs like cilantro or fresh parsley can be incorporated in the dip or used as a garnish. You can also garnish the dip with an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Texture options: The food processor gives this dip an ultra-smooth texture. But you can leave it chunkier if you prefer. Just mix in the mashed eggplant and the other ingredients in a large bowl with a spoon or with an immersion blender until it reaches the consistency you like.
- Make ahead: This eggplant dip recipe can be made ahead and kept in fridge covered or in plastic or in a sealed container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze if for several months, but the consistency may change (extra moisture).
Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg