Certified LAB cooking

As of today, I’m literally and officially certified Road I proficient by the League of American Bicyclists! I have a piece of paper that says so. I passed with flying colors.

I’m glad I took the class, because since then my road positioning has gotten more appropriately assertive, and I’m feeling more comfortable on the road because I know some evasive maneuvers.

On another subject: cooking. I haven’t been cooking a lot lately for various reasons (it’s been hot, I’ve been busy and away from the farmer’s market) but tonight I made something tasty and not very difficult. I’m going to do my best to recall exactly what I did, but as usual it’s not a very exact process. It tastes a lot like a chinese restaurant dish except light and fresh.

Spicy Eggplant in Brown Sauce
Vegetable oil
1 yellow onion
4 small Japanese eggplants
6 small or medium cloves of garlic
1-2 tbsp basil (6-10 leaves), chiffonaded
Soy sauce (~1/4 cup)
Mirin (~3 tbsp)
Water (~3 tbsp)
Corn starch (1/2-1 tbsp)
1/2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce (or to taste, but this is meant to be spicy*)

Chop the onion, and cut the eggplants into half-rounds about 1/4″ thick. Saute the onion in a tablespoon or two of oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browning and translucent. Add the eggplant and continue sauteing until the eggplant is mostly soft. Add the garlic and saute a few minutes until eggplant is done. Add a little soy sauce and/or mirin if necessary to deglaze the pan and keep everything from burning.

Add the basil and stir, then add the soy sauce, mirin, water, corn starch, and chili-garlic sauce. Stir, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 30 sec – 1 min or until the sauce thickens, then turn off the heat.

Serve with whatever you like with spicy Chinese-style dishes. I used rice noodles.


*Not as in burns your mouth off, but as in, packing the heat. Whatever that means to you. Just don’t get between me and my chili garlic sauce.**

**It occurs to me that this should be spelled chile garlic sauce, because it’s made with chiles, not chili, but I always see it spelled chili garlic sauce (734K GHits to 465K GHits, and most of the ones for the latter are the same as the former), so, whatever.

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