Charring eggplants on grill, open fire, under the broil/salamander, or inside special kitchen devices (e.g., Bulgarian chushkopek) is known and widely used around the world for a reason. Burning and peeling off skin definitely improves the texture of grilled vegetables, but more than anything we crave for that sweet smokiness added to the eggplant flavor. The beginning and the basics are the same — grill, peel, slice/chop/mash. Sauces, spices, herbs, seeds, nuts, and other added vegetables make the difference, turn grilled eggplants into a dish that belongs to a specific cuisine.
This recipe is part of DIM SUM Steamed and Fried Dumplings cooking class.
First, there was a picture in Dim Sum cookbook (by Janice Wong, Photography © Kevin Koh, Lighedpixels). Actually, I bought the book because of that picture, and the recipe with crunchy lace was the first one I tried in my kitchen. It didn’t work. Many times. Online search showed nothing in English with proven and attractive results exists either. I’ve got all kinds of starches in MT Asian Supermarket, rolled my sleeves, and started experimenting — spent a lot of time and wasted a lot of ingredients mastering this recipe!
I think it was a special game for our instructor chef J to teach us how to turn what school provided into delicious and well presented meals. It became a tradition for many other our shift students and teachers to come and eat at the end of the class what was cooked in our lab. Our burgers were not an exception. Chef J explained every element of successful burger meal, from meat to bun and to everything sandwiched in between. From that point, I could make my own perfect burger, adjusted to my personal taste. That’s what I do every 4th of July.
This recipe is part of Easy Smoked Meals at Home coming cooking class.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made of shredded cabbage mixed with a variety of ingredients and some batter. Cooked okonomiyaki is served with okonomi sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi, and aonori. All these components are important.
Okonomiyaki originated from the Osaka and Hiroshima areas (West) of Japan. The name means “what you like, grilled”. Okonomi means “what you want” or “what you like”, yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”.