Basil Eggplant

This one is mom’s “recipe” – you know, one of those ones where she has no idea how much of each ingredient there should be (“as much as you want”) or how long each step should take (“until it looks right”). So with general guidance and a little bit of improvisation, I think I’ve figured this one out.

Basil Eggplant

I like my eggplant sauteed until it’s soft and mushy (generally not an appetizing word, but I don’t know how else to describe it). The best variety for this is Japanese or Chinese eggplant (the longer, thinner type and not the fat ones that are good for Eggplant Parmesan dishes).

There are two methods to remove the bitterness from eggplant – and one that combines the two methods together. After cutting the eggplant, some people like to salt the pieces and let them sit, while others like to soak the eggplant pieces in water. I decided to combine the two methods and soak them in salt water. I let them sit for an hour since I got distracted with some other stuff, but I think half an hour works too.

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Eggplant pieces after cutting into ~1/2″ inch pieces
Chopped garlic (left); Basil leaves pulled off stem (right)






I threw the garlic into a pan with a bit of olive oil first and then patted the eggplant dry and added them into the pan and sauteed until the eggplant got some color. I then poured about 1/4 cup of water into the pan and covered it to help the softening process. When the water was just about gone (add more water if you it’s still not soft enough for you), I uncovered the pan and let it the water cook down more and then drizzled soy sauce on top and mixed it up.

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Almost done!

Lastly, I added in the fresh basil and red pepper flakes for a kick.






Basil Eggplant

Servings: 2


  • 10 oz. Japanese or Chinese eggplant (~1.5 long egplants or 2 short eggplants), sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • Salt water bath
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil or dried basil to taste
  • Soy sauce to taste (about 2 tbsp)
  • Optional: red pepper flakes


  1. Soak eggplant pieces in salt water bath for 30 min-1 hour. Pat eggplant dry.
  2. Saute garlic in olive oil and add in eggplant until they start to brown
  3. Add in water and cover and simmer until it reaches desired softness
  4. Drizzle soy sauce on top and mix in
  5. Add fresh basil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes
  6. Nom nom nom!

Estimated Nutritional Information (per serving): 181 calories; 3.5g fat; 1,042mg sodium; 37.3mg potassium; 31.8g carbs; 6.4g protein


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