Fried Eggplant Bites with Hoisin Duckby:Admin, May 5th, 2012
I am always trying to figure out new bases to serve hors d’oeuvres on. After eating a delicious appetizer in Barcelona, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t come up with this one sooner. Of course, fried eggplant. Perfectly crisp on the outside and tender and delicious on the inside. A great base for an assortment of hors d’oeuvres toppings. This one has the same flavor components as (although a quite a bit less formal than) the appetizer I enjoyed at Koy Shunka.
Yield 12 Servings
1 Small Eggplant
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Flour
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil for frying
1 Duck Breast
3 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
Salt as needed
Pepper as needed
2 Scallions, white and green part sliced
Slice the eggplant into rounds, slightly larger than 1/4 inch. Cut each round into half then into wedges that are approximately the same size, I tend to like them bite sized.
(You might not need the whole eggplant, only cut as much as you need. I like to have a couple pieces per person if I am making an assortment of hors d’oeuvres.)
Spread the wedges out and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Place the pieces of eggplant in the milk. Remove the pieces and shake them out slightly and place them in the flour to dry them. Then place the eggplant in the egg. Coat. Finally place the eggplant in the panko. Press to coat completely with crumbs.
(I used to do this one piece at a time, now I tend to do it by the handful…)
Heat half the oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the eggplant in the oil in a single layer, do not allow them to touch and do not overcrowd. Fry them for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel. You will have to cook these in batches. If you start to find that the oil is too low, add a little more. If you have burnt bits in the oil carefully wipe out the pan and start over with fresh oil.
Score the fat side of the duck breast by cutting cross hatch lines about 1/4 inch deep about 1/2 inch apart. You only want to cut the fat, do not go into the meat. Sprinkle the breast generously with salt and pepper. Place the duck breast fat side down in a hot saute pan over medium high heat. Cook for two minutes and reduce the heat to medium for 4 more minutes. Turn the meat and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove from the pan and let rest for 10 minutes.
You may prepare this up to this point a couple hours in advance if you would like time to clean up before your guests arrive.
If the eggplant has gotten cold, heat them in a 300° oven for 5-7 minutes.
Slice the duck very thinly. Place one piece of folded duck neatly on the wedge of fried eggplant. Top with a little dollop of hoisin sauce and a couple little slices of scallion.