Flash in the pan Thai Eggplant

 I'm an eggplant junkie.  I really like the "angel eggplant" dish they serve at our local thai restaurant, lots of hot squishy eggplant in a flavorful chili sauce (and some other veggies too, but for me it's all about the eggplant). I finally figured out the secret to getting that great texture- you gotta really cook it hot.  And the oil helps too.

Heat a wide pan over high heat.

While pan is pre-heating, slice eggplant (preferably japanese/chinese eggplant) on the diagonal in slices 1/3 or 1/4 inch thick.

Pour in 2 TB of oil with a high smoke point (peanut oil is good; do NOT use olive oil it will smoke). Turn on exhaust fan.

Layer the eggplant slices in one layer. Do not crowd the pan- if you have extra eggplant do it in the next round.

Let it cook at high for 3-8 minutes, check the undersides-- they should be getting browned nicely.

Flip eggplant over, add more peanut oil if needed. Continue cooking until the entire slice feels mushy/soft all the way through.

Combine 1 tea thai sweet chili paste with a tablespoon or two of water in a small container.  Pour this into the hot pan (careful it will splatter). Stir to combine and mix the flavor around the eggplant slices.

Add sliced thai basil, stir and serve immediately.

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