Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vegan Grilled Eggplant with Black Bean Paste & Sweet Soy Marinade

I must admit, going to international grocery markets and buying produce and items that I have never heard of is kind of a hobby of mine.  It is so much fun to discover new healthy foods.  Plus, the mystery of what to do with it excites me.  And of course, I want to know what it will taste like when I juice it.  I am like a small child on a playground for the first time.  Exploring, discovering, touching, smelling.....okay maybe not so much like on a playground, but you get it.

I picked up some beautiful yu choy sum, baby bok choy, eggplant and fermented black bean paste at the market in Chinatown, along with some other produce that honestly either I cannot pronounce or cannot remember the exotic name.

 Vegan Grilled Eggplant with Black Bean Paste & Sweet Soy Marinade

 Anything fermented is great for you, especially us vegans or vegetarians!  B12 is typically found in animal products or bi-products.  But because bacteria produce B12 and the fermentation process requires such bacteria, we are able to get a generous amount of vitamin B12 through fermented foods. 

It may be an acquired taste, but personally, I love it!

Ingredients/Directions: (yields 2 servings)

1 large eggplant sliced into 1/4" pieces
1 tbsp evoo

for the sauce
3 tbsp black bean paste
3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 garlic clove minced

With a brush, lightly coat each slice of eggplant on both sides.  Heat grill, or in my case, a breville. grill each side for 3 minutes, remove from heat and coat each side with your black bean sauce.  Transfer back to the grill and grill each side for two more minutes. 

Serve with sauted Asian greens.  In this case, I used yu choy sum and grilled bok choy.

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