Korean-Style Steamed Eggplants

Koreans are the Masters when it comes to side dishes. Whenever you order a meal in any restaurant, you are assured to receive at least 3 types of crunchy, spicy and savoury side dishes. This recipe is so wonderfully rich in flavour and to me, could be a meal in itself. Served with steamed rice, you have the potential of a lovely and light dinner. The original recipe of Gaji-Namul uses Asian eggplants, but regular eggplants work just as well.

INGREDIENTS
Serve 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main course
500 Gr. Eggplants (2 large ones) caps removed and washed.
2 Garlic cloves finely minced
2 Scallions finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Sambal Oelek – If you can find Korean chilli flakes, then use 1 teaspoon
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon toasted Sesame seeds crushed

PREPARATION
Easy enough… slice the eggplants in quarters and cut them in 3-4cm pieces. Place them in a bamboo basket or Marguerite (metal steamer) over boiling water. Steam them for 5-6 minutes, until a knife runs through easily.
Do not overcook them, they will become soggy.
After 5 minutes, remove them from the heat and let them cool so you can handle them without burning yourself. Shred each piece into small strands.
Whilst the eggplants are steaming, prepare the sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a medium size bowl.
Place the shredded eggplant pieces into the sauce mixture and mix well.
Serve with Jasmine rice or a simple side dish with a grilled meat or fish.

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