The aptly named kermit eggplant is a farmer's market favorite that's both delicious and fun to cook with. One of its best applications is Thai green curry. Thai curries are notorious for requiring long lists of ingredients, but if you're willing to use a prepared curry paste, it turns out it's actually pretty easy being green.
Kermit eggplants are the kind of veggie that makes you do a double-take the first time you see them. You can find them mid-to-late summer at farmer's markets and Asian markets. Look for young, small eggplants and examine their blossom end. It should be round and not indented or puckered. This will help you avoid ones with an overabundance of seeds, although they do tend to be quite seedy in general.
After you've gleefully brought home your strange and pretty looking produce, start pan frying some tofu. Once it's lightly browned, set it aside.
Now you want to fry the curry paste. I find that using prepared curry paste cuts down on time and makes Thai cooking a lot more accessible for me. It also tastes quite good!
Then, a can of coconut milk goes in and gets simmered for a while. It's ready when bits of green oil separate from the cream and leave filmy spots on top.
The tofu goes back in along with the eggplants, and the remaining ingredients are added in stages. The kaffir lime leaves, red bell peppers and Thai basil will create an intoxicating aroma, while another can of coconut milk makes it nice and creamy.
You'll want to test for seasoning at the end and see if it needs some saltiness added, in which case you can stir in small amounts of soy sauce until it tastes right.
Paired with some jasmine rice, this curry makes for a very beautiful and fragrant dish that few can resist.
Thai Green Curry With Kermit Eggplants
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed (see tip)
1 (4 oz) can green Thai curry paste
2 (15 oz) cans coconut milk, divided
1 pound kermit eggplants, stemmed and quartered
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thai basil leaves
2 thai chili peppers, thinly sliced (optional – will make it very hot – see tip)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
soy sauce as needed
Serve with: jasmine rice
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add tofu and stir fry 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok and add the curry paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in 1 can of coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook while stirring for 5 minutes or until a spotty green film appears on top.
- Return tofu to the pan and add eggplant, kaffir lime leaves, vegetarian oyster sauce and sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and cover again. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender, then remove from heat.
- Stir in basil, chili peppers (if using) and lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add soy sauce as needed. Serve with jasmine rice.