Japanese Eggplant and Shiitakes + Lemongrass and Basil

This easy, flavorful Asian stir-fry is loaded with immune-boosting shiitakes and garlic, plus lots of fiber and antioxidants. Japanese eggplants have a sweeter, milder flavor than Italian eggplant, with thin, delicate skins that soften quickly with cooking.You can find them in most Asian markets and some larger grocery stores; or substitute Italian eggplant (peel the skins first for a better final texture. You’ll also find fresh lemongrass at most Asian markets; peel off the tough, woody outer layers, and just use the tender middles. For extra protein, add cubes of fried tofu or a handful of toasted cashews. Serve it with steamed brown or Jasmine rice, rice noodles or gluten-free soba noodles.



Makes 4 servings


2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small sweet potato, diced

1-inch segment fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced

5 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1 fresh lemongrass stalk, tender inside portions finely minced

3 small Japanese eggplants, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon tamari

1/4 cup chopped Thai basil or sweet basil, chopped, plus additional for garnish

1 to 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (substitute brown sesame seeds)


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high. Add sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add a few tablespoons of water, cover and cook for 5 minutes, until sweet potatoes are just tender and water has cooked off.

2. Add remaining oil and cook ginger, garlic and lemongrass for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in eggplant, onions, shiitakes and white pepper;  cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in tamari and basil, and season to taste with sea salt and additional white pepper.

4. Transfer to individual serving plates; sprinkle with sesame seeds and additional basil, and serve hot with cooked rice or noodles.