Albino eggplant (or blanche aubergine)

I picked up the prettiest veggies the other day – two gorgeously white eggplants.  When I got them they were pristine, but because I didn’t cook them for a few days you’ll notice some brownish spots in my photo.  Mental note – always pose your albino eggplants for their photo shoots before they get old enough to have age spots.  Or at least buy them some Oil of Olay to help them recover their lost youth.

Here is what a white eggplant should look like, photo courtesy of this blog

And here are my over-the-hill ones:

Now I’m always conflicted when I pass eggplant at the grocery store, because I love it and want to buy one, but my husband hates it.  I grabbed these ones with the excuse that, “well, maybe the white ones taste totally different and he’ll actually eat them.”  One time I tried to serve him Baba Ghanoush, thinking that he only thought he hated eggplant, and that if it was prepared in a different way he wouldn’t know the difference.  He tried a big dollop of the Ghanoush on a pita bread and had to spit it out, asking me “what’s the dip that tastes like ass?” I didn’t have high hopes for the white eggplant, but at least if he didn’t eat it I would get twice as much.

There isn’t much to say about eggplant that you don’t already know, except for two things.  One:  It’s called eggplant because the white ones actually used to be more plentiful than the purple ones, and they looked like eggs growing as plants.  Cool, eh?  Two:  They have the highest nicotine content of any edible plant.  So if you have a teenager, your eggplants are going missing, and you smell funny odours coming from the basement, he’s probably trying to smoke them.  Parents, you’re welcome, dirtbags, you’re busted.  (Don’t try this trick at home, though.  You would have to eat 20 eggplants to get the same amount of nicotine found in one cigarette!)

I found a delicious-looking Korean recipe on this blog for eggplant that incorporated two of my favourite things – sesame and garlic.  I was all ready to go with it, and then panicked.  I had people over, I didn’t have the soy sauce it called for, and I was at least 15 minutes away from a store that might not have even been open.  I had to improvise, and so wracked my brain and my cupboard for something that might do for soy sauce in a pinch.  The best I could do was Fish Sauce.  If you can think of other creative solutions, I’ll send you a prize, no joke.  And yes, that prize may or may not be a packet of soy sauce.  Anyway, here’s what I did:

White Eggplant Gaji Namul

  • 2 white eggplants, sliced into ½” rounds
  • 2Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:  Preheat to 425.  Lay the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet…

(spaced out and flat, though, I was just proud of my picture) and douse them with olive oil.  Roast them for 10 minutes.  Let them cool, and rip them with your fingers into strips, putting the strips into a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix gently.

Results:  My husband ate it!  Enough said.  The “after” photo includes the spoon, passed out from the stress of trying to figure out what could replace soy sauce.

Rating:  3 Yums.  I’m not sure that white eggplant tastes any different from purple, but this recipe would make any colour of eggplant taste great.


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