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This item was last sold on : 07/16/18
Chinese eggplants are long and thin, averaging 15-20 centimeters in length and 5 centimeters in diameter. These fruits can be crooked or straight, and its thin outer skin ranges from violet to bright purple. The inner flesh is cotton white, semi-firm, and nearly seedless. Chinese eggplants have a mild and sweet flavor without the bitterness associated with eggplant.
Chinese eggplant is available year-round.
Chinese eggplant, botanically classified as Solanum melongena, is the name given to hundreds of eggplant varieties that are considered native to or cultivated throughout China and Asia. Also known as Oriental Charm and Pingtung Long, Chinese eggplant inherently has fewer seeds than Western eggplant varieties making them less bitter and meatier. Chinese eggplants are popularly used in stir-fries and will hold its shape when cooked.
Chinese eggplants contain rich levels of anthocyanins, a pigment not only responsible for the fruit's deep purple skin coloring but also known for its antioxidant properties. It also contains some manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Chinese eggplants are best suited for cooked applications such as braising, stir-frying, sautéing, and grilling. Their tender flesh cooks quicker than most eggplant varieties, and its flavor and texture will be at its peak when baked. Stir-frying Chinese eggplant is the most popular preparation method as the eggplant has a meaty and flavorful texture. Chinese eggplant holds up well to spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. Complimentary ingredients include cumin, garlic, ginger, cilantro, fermented beans, chilies, soy sauce, vinegar, mushrooms, onions, sesame oil, chicken, pork, chickpeas, lentils, hardy greens, and summer vegetables such as tomatoes and squashes. Chinese eggplant will keep up to one week when stored in a cool and dry place.
In addition to its culinary attributes, eggplant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The fruits, roots, and leaves of the Chinese eggplant are used to help reduce symptoms in an array of ailments such as toothaches, abscesses, wounds and sores, fever, and intestinal disorders.
Chinese eggplant varieties have historically been referred to as having Indo-Burma and Chinese origins, but there is also evidence as well of early cultivation occurring in India. Eggplant is documented in several botanical manuscripts such as the Qimi Yiaoshu written during the Southern and Northern Dynasties and The Atlas of Plants in Southern China written during the Western Jin Dynasty. Today Chinese eggplant is widely available in farmers markets and specialty grocers in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Chinese Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
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