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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Notes: Dried bonito flakes are available in Asian markets.

Sunset JULY 2003

  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms (2 to 3 in. wide) or Asian eggplant, or a combination of both

Preparation

1. Rinse 1 1/2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms (2 to 3 in. wide) or Asian eggplant, or a combination of both. Remove tough stems from shiitakes. Slice eggplant in half crosswise; cut each piece in half lengthwise.

2. If using eggplant, place a rack over about 1 inch water in a 6- to 8-quart pan. Pile eggplant on rack, bring water to a boil over high heat, cover, and steam eggplant until soft, about 5 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

3. Thread two or three mushrooms (horizontally through cap) or one piece eggplant onto each soaked 12-inch wood skewer. Brush vegetables lightly with Asian sesame oil or vegetable oil.

4. Place on a lightly oiled grill over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until tender when pierced, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve with ginger or ponzu dipping sauce.

Ginger dipping sauce: In a blender or food processor, whirl 1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion, 1/2 cup peeled, coarsely chopped ginger, and 1/3 cup peeled, coarsely chopped sweet apple (such as Red Delicious), scraping sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth. Add 3/4 cup soy sauce, 6 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, and 1/4 cup sugar. Whirl until smooth. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 1 week. Whisk before serving. Makes about 2 cups.

Ponzu dipping sauce: In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring to a boil 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine, 1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine; available in supermarkets), 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, and 1/4 cup dried bonito flakes (optional; see notes); if omitting bonito flakes, combine all other ingredients in a bowl and chill. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes. Strain and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups.

Nutritional Analysis per skewer of shiitakes.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 15
  • Calories from fat: 60%
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 1.4g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 0.0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
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Grilled Vegetable Skewers recipe

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