Spicy Braised Eggplant With Prunes 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Book Report Mar 7, 2012

This is savory and rich-tasting; the prunes fairly melt away here.

Serve with scallion fried rice.

For this recipe, you'll need a 5 1/2-to-7-quart slow-cooker.

Make Ahead: The cooled eggplant can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Servings: 4 - 6 side-dish
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large (36 ounces) purple eggplants, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 bunches scallions (12 to 14 total), white and light-green parts cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted prunes
  • 1 tablespoon salted Chinese black beans, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Leaves from 4 to 6 stems cilantro, coarsely chopped, for serving (optional)
  • 1 small serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped, for serving (optional)


Heat half of the vegetable and half of the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once they begin to shimmer, add half of the eggplant and stir-fry for about 8 minutes or until browned on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the slow-cooker. Repeat with the remaining oils and eggplant.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the garlic, ginger and scallions to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add to the slow-cooker along with the broth, soy sauce, prunes and the Chinese black beans, if using. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. The eggplant will be quite tender.

Whisk together the water and cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir into the eggplant mixture. Increase the heat to HIGH; cover and cook for 30 minutes. The mixture should thicken.

Spoon the eggplant and its sauce into a serving bowl; garnish with the cilantro and serrano pepper, if desired. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Slow Cooking," by Antony Worrall Thompson (Mitchell Beasley, 2012).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.