Lower Fat Miso & Basil Eggplant

Following the original Thai basil eggplant post, here’s a low fat version. The low fat version doesn’t simply use less oil–the flavors are slightly different. Sometimes fats are used to make a dish taste good, and sometimes salt, sugar, or savory components fill that role. This dishes focuses on the savory/salty combo.

Here is the finished eggplant dish, with a cute little set of dishes:

low fat thai basil eggplant with miso

As mentioned before, you’ll want to look for the Chinese eggplants, which are long and skinny.  Regular eggplants will work, too, but the flavor is slightly different.

iGlobalWeb / Pixabay

The oil in this dish is avocado oil, and that is intentional.  If you’re going to cook with oil, avocado oil is one of the healthier choices, boasting of an incredibly high smoke point as well as being high in oleic acid (omega-9 fats, instead of omega-6 fats).

The miso I used for this dish is a white miso.  It has a lovely mellow flavor, and it’s sold in the refrigerator section.

Your local Asian market probably has all of these things: Chinese eggplant, avocado oil, and light miso.

What You Need

Note: If you’re unsure where to find some of these, check out our post on where to buy Asian ingredients

Group 1

  • 1 TBS avocado oil (You could also use another neutral cooking oil if you don’t have this)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 7 c eggplant wedges (cut in half and then into ~1″ pieces)
  • 6 small (2″) whole dried chili peppers (optional)

Group 2

  • water to cover
  • 1 TBS gluten-free soy sauce (Depends how strong you want this to be)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (other sugar would work, too)
  • 1 TBS white miso
  • 1 TBS cooking wine

Group 3

  • 1/4 c fresh Thai basil leaves (or ~1.5 TBS dried basil)
  • 1/4 c chopped green onions

What You Do

  • In a wok over high heat, pan fry the garlic in the avocado oil for no more than 1 minute.
  • Add in the eggplant and stir briefly. Add the 1/4 c water, and continue cooking until the eggplant starts to darken.
  • Pour the group 2 ingredients (water, soy sauce, sugar, miso) over the eggplant, stir briefly to mix everything together, and cover. Use just enough water to cover the top of the eggplant.
  • Continue to cook over high heat until eggplant chunks are soft, stirring occasionally. Either use a drop lid or be prepared to add more water as the cooking process goes on. The eggplant is done cooking when a chunk of it (cooled off!) nearly falls apart in your mouth.  There should still be a *little* bit of extra water on there, so feel free to add more while cooking to keep everything from burning.
  • Remove from heat
  • Add group 3 ingredients (basil, green onions). Stir to incorporate.

The end result will be very soft chunks of eggplant which fall apart easily.  This can be eaten with or without rice or noodles.  The end result

What’s your favorite way to eat this dish?

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