This garlicky eggplant salad was a favorite recipe of Cindy Wu's mother. Asian eggplants are long and thin; use either the deep purple Japanese variety or the sweeter, amethyst-colored Chinese eggplant. You can make the salad up to 4 hours ahead; cover and chill. Serve as an appetizer, with toasted baguette slices or sesame crackers.
8 Asian eggplants (about 1 3/4 lbs. total; see note above)
2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced green onions (including green tops)
How to Make It
Place eggplants in a 12- by 15-inch baking pan; pierce each several times with a sharp knife. Bake in a 400° regular or convection oven until very soft when pressed, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Cut off and discard stems; slice eggplants in half lengthwise. With a fork or your fingers, remove flesh in long shreds. Discard peels.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic. Add eggplant and mix gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Sprinkle eggplant salad with green onions just before serving.