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Asian Eggplant in Clay Pot

This recipe came from my Hoi An cooking school. It was pretty good, which was saying a lot since I don't like eggplant. What I liked best was the way the lemongrass flavor came through -- I love lemongrass but haven't really worked out how best to use it in cooking, so this recipe gave me some ideas.

Ingredients
1 medium-sized clay pot (or thick metal pot)
2 asian eggplants cut into 1cm pieces
root of 1 lemongrass stalk, crushed
1 tsp salt
2 c water

sauce
1.5 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar (or tbsp of honey or pineapple juice)
0.5 tsp salt
2 c water

Directions
Modern Method
Add 2 cups water, lemongrass, and salt to the clay pot, and bring to a boil. Add the eggplant and boil for three minutes. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients. Drain all the water from the pot, then add the sauce mixture and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Serve over steamed rice.

Traditional Method
In a wok, deep-fry the eggplant in vegetable oil for 3 minutes. Drain well, then add to the cooking dressing and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for three more minutes, removing the oil on top as you go. Serve over steamed rice.

Verdict
Like I said, surprisingly good and lemongrassy. And easy. You can use ginger in place of the lemongrass, if you like.