Ironically, the first recipe I post from the cookbook “Vegetarian Burgers: The Healthy, Delicious Way to Eat America’s Favorite Food” by Bharti Kirchner is not a burger. Originally published in 1996, this cookbook has 25 vegetarian burger recipes that aren’t the same old Gardenburgers. Ms. Kirchner also gives several side dish and condiment recipes as well.
This sesame eggplant steak recipe was placed in the side dish section of the book, but with thicker slices it would be perfect on a whole wheat bun.
Recipe from book is italicized, my notes are not.
Sesame Eggplant Steaks – 4 side dish servings
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch inch rounds (if the rounds are greater than 3 inches in diameter, cut in half) – I used one eggplant and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- Dark sesame oil for brushing
- Black salt and freshly ground pepper (regular salt can be substituted) – I used sea salt
- Hoisin sauce for brushing – Before I started I could have sworn I had this, but I didn’t. So, I substituted soy sauce.
- Plum sauce for brushing
1) Preheat oven to 450.
2) Brush one side of the eggplant pieces generously with sesame oil and dust with salt and pepper. Place the pieces, seasoned side up, on a lightly oiled baking sheet. (Use a flovorless cooking oil such as canola oil or cooking spray.) – I used canola cooking spray
3) Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn the pieces, brush lightly with oil and again dust with salt and pepper.
4) Bake for another 7 to 10 minutes or until the rounds feel soft when pierced with a fork. . – Because I had thinner slices, I only cooked for about 5 minutes more
5) Turn them and brush with the hoisin (or in my case soy sauce) and plum sauce.
6) Place under the broiler, sauced side up. Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 5 minutes or just until the sauce is heated. Watch for any signs of burning and remove immediately if the steaks begin to blacken. Best served warm, but is also good served at room temperature.
This recipe was a perfect blend of the sweetness from the plum sauce and the salty from the soy sauce. The flavor was reminiscent of a General Tso’s sauce. If using soy sauce, put a little less on if you’ve got a heavy hand with the salting in the first steps. With thicker slices, I may try this combination on the grill and, as mentioned above, serve on wheat buns.