How to Grow Lebanese Eggplants

Tips for Growing and Using Lebanese Eggplant

I replanted my veggie garden the other day, as I had picked up some great seedlings. Replanting meant stripping out all those plants that were past their prime.

How to Grow Lebanese Eggplants

Lebanese eggplant

However, one plant I didn’t pull out was my Lebanese eggplant, although they are in their second year! I have several of these in the garden.

These plants really are wonderful! If you haven’t tried growing them or don’t know the fruit, they are a deep rich purple like the normal eggplant. However, they are long and skinny. They best eaten when they are about 15 cm long.

When Lebanese eggplant are harvested fresh from the garden they don’t suffer from the bitterness some people associate with eggplants. This means that you don’t have to bother with salting them before use.

Lebanese eggplants are great in all the traditional Mediterranean recipes like Moussaka and Ratatouille. Alternatively, they are just as good in Asian dishes like Green Chicken curry.

I love them brushed with olive oil and garlic and grilled as part of an antipasto salad. They are also great in the Thai inspired stir fry with minced pork recipe below.

Stir fried with mince Pork and Lebanese eggplant recipe

Ingredients
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 Lebanese eggplant
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
500g pork mince
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
steamed rice, to serve

Method: Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. Slice each eggplant in half lengthways. Using a sharp knife, make 1cm-deep cuts in eggplant flesh. Place eggplant, cut side up, in a bamboo steamer over a wok of simmering water. Steam, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Roughly chop.

Drain wok and wipe dry. Heat wok over high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add eggplant and stir-fry for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

Add garlic and chilli to wok. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add mince and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until browned. Return eggplant to wok. Add soy sauce mixture and coriander. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until thickened slightly. Serve with rice.

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