Eggplants, Aubergine, Brinjal – they’re all names for the same plant. You may think you know about eggplants, but there’s actually several different varieties of them, and lots of interesting facts about them. Today I’m sharing delicious Asian Eggplant recipes!
Asian eggplants are types of eggplant that is native to Asia. They are usually smaller and thinner than traditional eggplants, and they have a thinner skin and fewer seeds.
Here are some Asian varieties of eggplants (learn about other types here!)
Of the asian variety of eggplants, Chinese eggplants are a lot thinner than American and Italian eggplants. They have a thinner skin and are less bitter as it has less seeds (the seeds are what makes an eggplant slightly bitter).
Since Chinse eggplants have a sweeter flesh with tender skin, which makes them perfect for stir fry and sauté recipes.
They are actually very similar to Japanese eggplants, but Chinese eggplants are a lot lighter in color. It’s good to know though, that you can easily substitute these two types of eggplants interchangeably in recipes as they cook similarly.
As mentioned, Japanese Eggplants are very similar to Chinese Eggplants. They do have a darker skin, more similar to American and Italian eggplants, however.
Japanese eggplants, like Chinese eggplants, have a tender skin and it has a sweet flavor as they are also seedless. A thing to note here though is that they do get a little more ‘bitter’ as they mature, so if you prefer a ‘sweeter’ taste, you may want to find a younger Japanese eggplant.
Also, as previously mentioned, cooking wise, you can substitute Chinese vs Japanese eggplants as they have similar taste and texture.
These cute round eggplants are Indian Eggplants. Indian eggplants are sweeter and more tender than American and Italian Eggplants. These eggplants are small and round, just a few inches long, and have a smooth, dark purple skin.
Indian eggplants have a thicker skin than Chinese and Japanese, however, still not as thick as Americaan and Italian Eggplants. The flesh is more firm, and there are a few seeds.
For cooking, Indian eggplants are a bit sweeter and creamy in texture. It’s probably obvious to say that they are perfect for Indian cooking. You can slice or cube them and make mashed eggplant dishes, or stuffed eggplants.
Another cute round eggplant is of the Thai variety. Thai Eggplants look the most different from those other eggplants (the first time I saw it I didn’t realize they were eggplants!) They are tiny little eggplants and are more bitter than the American eggplant, especially the seeds.
These eggplants have a more crunchy texture and a slightly bitter taste. It gets more bitter as the plant matures. Unlike the other eggplants, you can actually eat Thai Eggplants raw! When eaten raw, it has a more mild taste.
Other than eating them raw (dipped with sauce, usually), these eggplants are also good in Thai curry, and also stir fry recipes.