Back when I used to eat beef, one of my more favorite things to eat were meatballs. I just really enjoyed having them with my spaghetti. Now that I don’t eat red meat anymore, I really don’t miss it at all aside from my occasional cravings for.. meatballs.
I thought it was high time I tried my hand at making a vegetarian version with eggplants.
Luckily for me, we have a beautiful Chinese eggplant plant in our little garden.
And there were a few eggplants ripe and ready for picking.
I love using Chinese eggplants in the place of regular eggplants in recipes. The Chinese eggplant is more tender, the seeds are smaller and the taste is just a bit sweeter.
Since the eggplants I had on hand were Asian, I used a few Asian ingredients in these balls: ginger and soy sauce.
The resulting dish is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and not overly “Asian” tasting. You can eat these on their own, or if you prefer them to be more saucy or juicy pair them with a mango chutney or BBQ sauce.
- 2 medium Chinese Eggplants, about 1 1/2 cups when chopped
- Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Optional: 2 stalks green onion, cut to 1/2 inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F
- Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt, let sit for about 8 to 10 minutes to draw out water.
- Rinse eggplant slices in water and pat dry.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat, add 1/4 cup water and saute eggplant slices until tender.
- Remove the eggplant from heat, and cut into small pieces, about 1/4 inch cubes.
- Mix the garlic, ginger, egg soy sauce and eggplant in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the breadcrumbs to the mixing bowl and mix well just until all ingredients are combined well.
- Using a spoon, form golf ball sized balls with the eggplant mixture and place in a pan that is well oiled with olive oil.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, turning the balls half way through, until the outside is a golden brown.
- Optional: Sprinkle green onions on top.
- Serve and enjoy!