Serve this dish at room temperature, rather than piping hot. You’ll find the flavors more pronounced. Add a handful of your favorite chopped nuts to make a complete meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 Servings
2 medium-sized eggplants
Generous pinch of salt, plus more for soaking eggplant
1 cup (150 g) potato starch
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Oil for frying
1 lb (500 g) arugula
1 cup (250 ml) Sweet Chili Sauce (page 25), warmed
1 bunch green onions (scallions), chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
Cut the eggplants into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes and place in a large non-metal bowl. Cover with water, add salt and stir. Cover (or weigh down with a plate) and allow to stand for 10 minutes. (This draws the bitterness out of the eggplant.)
Drain the eggplant cubes and place on paper towels to dry. In a large bowl, stir together the potato starch, onion powder, garlic powder and an additional pinch of salt. Toss the eggplant with the potato starch mixture, covering as much surface area as possible. Shake off any excess.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, add oil to a depth of about ½ inch (1.25 cm). Heat to 350°F (175°C). Add the eggplant cubes and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
In a skillet, heat an additional 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the arugula and sauté until the greens just begin to wilt, about 1 minute. Arrange the wilted arugula around the edge of a serving platter and top with the fried eggplant. Pour warmed Sweet Chili Sauce on top. Garnish with chopped green onions, coriander leaves, and mint. Serve immediately.