There are so many dishes you can make with grilled eggplant.
Today’s recipe is Chinese Eggplant Salad with Chicken.
This is really easy to do especially when you have shredded chicken (click here for how to make it) on hand, and perfect for summer.
Chinese Eggplant Salad with Chicken
- Cooked, shredded chicken – 1 c
- Grilled eggplant, cut in about 2” –1 c
- Cucumber – 1 small cucumber or about 2” English cucumber
- Napa cabbage or romaine lettuce – 2-3 c (preferably center part and/or top 1/3 of the bulb)
- Sliced tomatoes (Optional) – 1 or 2
- Chinese dressing (recipe follows)
- Roll up the napa cabbage leaves and slice thin. If using romaine lettuce, you can just chop them into bite size pieces. Cut cucumbers into thin sticks. (If using regular cucumbers, peel the skin, cut in half, remove seeds first.)
- In a salad bowl, pile up napa cabbage/romaine lettuce at the bottom, and arrange shredded chicken, eggplant and cucumber (and tomato if using).
- Serve with Chinese dressing. Optionally, top with cilantro, fried wonton skins etc.
Note: If you don’t have chicken, you can substitute with a can of tuna (in Olive Oil preferred.)
- Mix equal parts sesame (or vegetable) oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and some sugar (adjust the amount based on your taste). Add either grated ginger, chopped green onion and/or ground sesame seeds. Add chili oil if you have any.
- You can use this dressing for Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese Noodle Salad), or on any other salad, as well as dipping sauce for gyoza and marinade. Especially tasty with vegetables with high water content, such as grilled eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes as well as wakame seaweed.
Since summer is almost over, here’s the bonus recipe of Hiyashi Chuka.
Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese Noodle Salad)
It’s pretty much the same with the Chinese eggplant salad above, except, you’d want to use boiled and chilled fresh Chinese noodles instead of napa cabbage.
When it gets really hot, I lose my appetite (many of you who know me personally probably do not believe that’s possible). I survived the muggy summer in Tokyo with this dish, and still make it when it’s hot in the Bay Area (even though the the humidity is a lot lower, we don’t have an air-conditioner, so all I want to eat is something cold when it gets beyond 85F!)
Traditionally we use shredded toppings of various colors and nutritional values – protein from egg and ham or chicken, and vitamins from vegetables. The most typical veggies we use for this dish are tomatoes and cucumbers. Yet you can use bean sprouts, boiled and julienned asparagus or green beans, as well as corn (my favorite!) or wakame seaweed.
- Boil fresh Chinese noodles (thin egg noodle or spinach noodle – I use 3 oz per person, 6 serving to one pound of noodles). Should be done in 2-3 min. Drain and wash with cold water until noodle is cold.
- If using egg (about 1/2 per serving), either boil eggs cut into thin wedges, or beat egg with a little bit of salt and sugar, make a very thin omelet (just like you would make a crepe). When the egg is set, let it cool, and julienne.
- In a salad bowl, pile up cold noodles in the center, and arrange shredded chicken/ham, and julienned vegetables and egg attractively.
- Pour generous amount of Chinese dressing. (Note: You’ll need enough amount of dressing to coat all the noodles, make a large batch and dilute the dressing with water or dashi broth a bit.)
Our 26 month old nephew Hugo loves Hiyashi Chuka (he’s 100% American, no Asian blood at all as you can tell from his size), and so are many of our friends and their kids. (Sorry I forgot to take photo of him when he was eating it… So instead, here’s the photo of him adult-size coffee ice cream – all by himself. I’m so proud of him!)
Try it before the summer is over and please leave us a comment on how you liked it.