I’m really excited about and proud of this recipe. It’s super easy, super quick, and super tasty. I’ve been working on an organic farm this summer and have been really enjoying working with the veggies that are crazy fresh and in season. In this case, it’s even more awesome, because I remember planting these very eggplants just a couple months ago. There is something incredibly satisfying about eating food that you had a hand in producing.
In my beginning years of cooking, eggplant totally kicked my ass and baffled me at every step. But I learned the secret a couple years ago from my roommate when I was living in Berlin. And today I am stoked to share it with you.
Eggplant used to annoy me because it never seemed to be ready to eat when the rest of the vegetables in my stir fry were already wilting. It always remained semi-raw. And even if I continued cooking it, it would just soak up oil and soak up more oil and, even when it was seriously bursting with fat and oil, was still raw. I was confused.
Then one day my roommate Jenni used mostly water instead of oil, and, with a little patience, we found the tender, delicious texture we were looking for without all the oil that eggplant likes to soak up.
This opened the door to many eggplant dishes, and I’m excited to share this one with you. I’d love to hear from you if you end up makin’ it!
1 large eggplant, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 lb ground turkey
1.5 cups teriyaki sauce
3 tbsp bacon fat, olive oil, or butter
garlic salt and onion powder to taste
Sauté ground turkey in a large wok until meat is browned. Add garlic salt and onion powder to taste. Remove turkey from wok and set aside, leaving any fat and juice remaining in the wok.
Without washing the wok (let’s save that turkey fat!), add the eggplant–which you can chop while browning the turkey. Coat with three tablespoons of your desired fat or oil. Mine is bacon grease. Ooh, yum.
Season generously with garlic salt and onion powder. The salt draws out some moisture from this silly vegetable, which helps soften the eggplant to our desired consistency.
Sauté eggplant until moisture/oil has been absorbed, and right before the eggplant begins burning or sticking to the pan, add 1/2 cup of water. Repeat this as many times as necessary, until the eggplant is very soft. It’ll take around 5 repetitions throughout 20 minutes.
When the eggplant is tender, add the turkey back into the wok. Pour teriyaki sauce (I used Trader Joes’ Soyaki sauce) over turkey and eggplant. Stir, serve, and enjoy!
OPTIONS AND ADDITIONS
To make my photo pretty I added a few things. They turned out to taste pretty damn awesome together. You can add these too, but in the sake of simplicity (and because, let’s be honest, I’m probably just going to eat it solo out of the microwave for the entirety of this upcoming week), I left the recipe as basic as possible.
If you do choose to include my pictured additions, they are: roasted, lightly salted almonds (super great crunch aspect), sweet cherry tomatoes, butter-and-garlic sauteed green beans, and fresh basil.