It’s the season for tomatoes, eggplants, and hatch chili peppers!
Yes it’s unbearably hot, and whenever I step out during daytime, I feel like I’m baking in an oven, but I still love summer simply because summer tastes delicious. 😉 Whatever grows during summertime tastes fresher, sweeter, and better.
My favorite mangoes, berries, and vegetables are all summer produce, which is why I’m willing to put up with this awful heat we get here in Texas.
One of my favorite summer vegetables are tomatoes and eggplants 🍅🍆.
I think these two vegetables goes together super well, and so I created what is now one of my favorite summer dishes. I like to call it 双茄虾 or Tomato Eggplant Shrimp. Wild shrimp, soft eggplant and tomatoes in a sweet and spicy stir-fry. MmM! 😉
Although there are some steps to making this dish, it is still isn’t difficult to make. You don’t need a lot of spices or seasoning, and the flavors are incredible because I use in-season produce. The eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers really shine, and the shrimp is just a nice little compliment. 😁
Tomatoes are full of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that is also great for getting that summer glow. On top of the fresh vegetables full of vitamins and and colors, this stir-fry is sugar-free and low-fat. Much healthier and nutritious than your typical Chinese take out! ❤ 💜
You can even make it vegetarian. Sometimes when instead of shrimp, I use firm tofu that I sear in the pan for a couple minutes until golden brown.
Vegetarian or not, I love dishes that let the vegetables shine! I truly believe that eating a more plant-based diet (even if it’s not vegetarian) is the way to go for a healthy life!
Even though this dish has a lot of vegetables already, I love eating meals that are full of colors and nutrients, and so I served it with more summer veggie dishes featuring the harvest from out little home garden: stir-fried homegrown #longbeans and homegrown silk squash soup. 💚
🍅🍆 Tomato Eggplant Shrimp (双茄虾)
Wild shrimp, tails-on / skin-off (I used XL): 8 oz
Japanese eggplant: 3 to 4 (~12 oz)
Tomatoes, fresh: 1-2 (I used 1 vine-riped tomato & 6 grape tomatoes)
Tomato puree (canned), organic*: 1/3 cup
Sweet baby peppers: 4 to 5 peppers
Hatch chili pepper: 1 pepper
Coconut oil: 2-3 tsp
Chili garlic sauce*: 1-3 tsp (to taste // I like it spicy, so I use all 3 tsp!)
Chinese rice wine (绍兴 Shao Xing brand): 2 tsp
Garlic, minced: 3 garlics
Ginger, minced: 1 tbsp
Preserved black soybeans* 黑豆豉: 2 tsp
Honey: 1 tsp (optional // I don’t add honey if my tomatoes are sweet)
Paprika: a few dashes (optional)
Salt (to taste)
*Honestly, the tomato puree is not really necessary, but if you want it extra saucy, go ahead and open a can up. Otherwise, just leave it out and the stir-fry will still be delicious.
*Make sure you use a chili garlic sauce that is all-natural with no MSG or preservatives!
*Preserved black soybeans is a staple ingredient in Chinese cooking. It’s simply black soybeans preserved with salt. They’re salty and add an extra layer of umami. If you don’t have these, simply leave it out and add a tbsp or two of soy sauce instead.
First, chop the veggies.
Eggplant on the diagonal bias into 3-inch large chunks.
Tomatoes into large chunks.
Peppers into slices.
Mince the garlic & ginger.
Steam the eggplant in a steamer for 18 minutes. (If you don’t have a steamer, you can stir-fry the eggplant in a tiny bit of oil, gradually adding water to cook until soften. Or maybe microwave with a bit of water, but I’ve never tried it.)
A few minutes before the eggplants are cooked, you can start making the dish.
Heat a wok or stir-fry pan on high. Once it’s hot, add the coconut oil and carefully add the chili sauce (to taste) + minced garlic, ginger, preserved salted black beans, and hatch chili peppers into the oil. After 10-15 seconds, add the tomatoes and tomato puree (if using) and cook for a couple minutes until slightly soft. You can add a pinch of salt to draw out the water from the tomatoes.
Add the shrimp and season with Chinese rice wine. Cook midway then add the cooked eggplant. Add in the honey if using.
Continue cooking until the shrimp is cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes until it’s curled and pink. Finally, top it with the sliced sweet peppers and gently stir to mix. Turn off the heat.
Transfer to a plate and top with fresh chopped cilantro! Enjoy and serve with steamed rice! Yummmm.
Enjoy summer’s produce while it lasts! Try this recipe out and share with me on Instagram @vivanttang. Let me know how you like it! 🙂