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Thai Eggplant

DAYS TO SPROUT

DAYS TO
SPROUT

10-21 days

MATURES IN

MATURES
IN

60-75 days

TASTE IT FOR

TASTE IT
FOR

5-8 weeks

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Care & Harvest

💡 Temperature: Prefers warmer temperatures (70-85°F).

 

🐝 Pollination: Eggplants require pollination. When purple flowers appear, hand-pollinate them by gently shaking the entire plant, or gently disturb the inside of blossoms with your finger or a small brush.

 

Support: We suggest using our Plant Belt to support the plant and its heavy fruit as it matures.

 

✂️ Pruning: Eggplants require pruning. Snip away yellow or brown leaves if they appear, and trim branches to ensure the plant stays within the Gardyn’s light. Check the roots monthly and trim any that are brown or extending past the yPod

 

🔎 Plant Health: Eggplants are prolific producers, even if they show signs of Edema, a harmless disorder. Aphids are a common pest, but you can use our prevention tricks to keep them at bay! 

 

🍆 Harvest: Snip fruit at their individual stems with clean shears. These Eggplants are ready to harvest once they reach 1.5-2 inches in diameter. The skin should still be glossy, as dull skin indicates overripe fruit. Harvest regularly to encourage new fruit production.

Quick Facts

Native to a large area including parts of India, Burma, Thailand, and China, these fruits can still be found growing wild there today. By the early 1800s, many varieties of Eggplant, including Thai, could be found in farmers markets in the Americas. Eggplants are also frequently referred to as aubergines in many parts of the world.

The adorable, small, and round fruit have glossy, green-and-white skin and reach about 1 to 2 inches in size following a purple, star-shaped flower. When eaten raw, the fruit are crunchy with a mild, bitter-herbaceous flavor. When cooked, the fruit soften and lose their bitterness. Stems and leaves can sometimes grow small thorns, so use care (or thicker gloves) when handling your plant.

Unique to other eggplant varieties, Thai Eggplant can be eaten raw as a crunchy snack, in salads, or even pickled. They can also be enjoyed using traditional preparations that include roasting, grilling, and stuffing. While Thai Eggplant is a source of antioxidants, fiber, Potassium, and Manganese, it also has the ability to absorb nutrients and flavors from other foods it’s prepared with, making it a key ingredient in curries. 

Harvest to Plate Recipe

How To Cook Thai Eggplant

INGREDIENTS

For the Sauce:

  • 1.5 TBLS Thai Chili Paste/Chili Jam (Nam Prik Pao)
  • 1 TBLS Oyster Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Fish Sauce
  • ½ TBLS Tamarind Paste
  • ½ – 1 TSP White Sugar (optional), to taste (see notes)
  • 2 TBLS Water

For the Thai Eggplant Stir-fry:

  • 300–320 grams / 10.5-11.3 ounces (1 large) Chinese or Japanese Eggplant – cut into 1.5-inch long strips
  • 6 Garlic cloves – roughly chopped
  • 2–8 Red Chilies (Bird’s Eye preferred, but any small hot red chilies will work), to taste – roughly chopped
  • 3–5 Prik Kee Nu Green Chilies (optional), to taste – roughly chopped
  • 1 Large Red Chili – thinly sliced at an angle
  • 1/3 medium Yellow Onion – cut into ¼-inch strips, then cut in half
  • 3.5 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other neutral-flavored cooking oil with a high smoke point)
  • 150 grams Ground Pork / 5.3 ounces (or ground chicken, beef, or turkey)
  • ¼ TSP Ground White Pepper
  • 1.5 cups Thai Sweet Basil Leaves – picked off stems, washed and pat-dried (substitute with Thai holy basil or Italian basil if unavailable)
  • 1 TSP Corn Starch + 1/3 cup Water (mixed together to make a slurry)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop/prepare the eggplant, garlic, red chilies, Prik Kee Nu green chilies (if using), large red chili, yellow onion, and Thai sweet basil leaves as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl filled with water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, Bird’s Eye red chilies, Prik Kee Nu green chilies into a coarse paste and set aside. (Or smash with the back of your knife and finely chop if you don’t own a mortar and pestle.)
  2. Make the sauce: Whisk together the Thai chili paste, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, tamarind paste, and water in a measuring cup (for easier pouring) or small bowl and set aside.
  3. Make the corn starch slurry: Mix the corn starch and water in a measuring cup or bowl and set aside.

For the Thai Eggplant Stir-fry:

  1. Cook the eggplant: Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the eggplant and cook for 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until slightly browned and tender. Transfer to a clean bowl and return the wok to the stovetop. (Don’t worry if the eggplant isn’t completely tender yet. The residual heat will allow it to continue cooking and become tender in the bowl.)
  2. Stir-fry the aromatics: Heat the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in the wok. Once hot, add the onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds until slightly softened. Then add the smashed garlic chili paste and large red chili and toss to combine for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Cook the pork: Add the ground pork and ground white pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, breaking up the lumps with your spatula, until just cooked.
  4. Add the eggplant and sauce: Add the eggplant back into the wok and pour in the sauce. Toss briefly until everything is combined well and coated in the sauce.
  5. Add the corn starch slurry: Give the corn starch slurry a quick stir with a spoon (the corn starch will have settled at the bottom of the measuring cup/bowl), then pour it into the wok. Toss for a minute until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Stir through basil: Add the Thai sweet basil leaves and briefly toss until slightly wilted – about 15-20 seconds, then switch off the heat.

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