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Fengyuan eggplants are long, slender, and cylindrical, growing up to forty centimeters in length. The outer skin is deep purple, smooth, and is so thin that it does not require peeling. The flesh is creamy white and lacks the trademark bitterness associated with eggplants. When cooked, Fengyuan eggplants are tender with a mild, sweet flavor.
Fengyan eggplants are available in the spring and summer months.
Fengyuan eggplant, botanically classified as Solanum melongena, is a member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. It is a Taiwanese heirloom and is one of the longest growing (in length) eggplant varieties on the market. Commonly found in Asia, the Fengyuan eggplant has had an increase in popularity in American gardening culture, particularly on the competition circuit, as a result of its ability to grow exceptionally long, its prolific nature, and its sweet, non-bitter flavor.
Fengyuan eggplants are a good source of fiber, potassium, and manganese. They also contain anthocyanins, a pigment not only responsible for the fruit's skin coloring, but also for its antioxidant properties.
Fengyuan eggplant is best suited for cooked applications such as grilling, sautéing, stewing, roasting, braising, and baking. It is often utilized in stir-fries, curries, soups, stews, and rice-based dishes. Its sweet flavor makes it ideal for slicing into rounds and pickling as well. Fengyuan eggplant pairs well with Thai basil, garlic, ginger, mint, fermented beans, chilies, soy sauce, sesame oil, miso, vinegar, meats such as chicken, beef, and duck, seafood, tomatoes, Chinese broccoli, Shiitake mushrooms, and squash. Fengyuan eggplant will keep up to three days when stored in a cool and dry place.
Fengyuan eggplant has long been a favorite eggplant in Asian gardening and cuisine, especially in Taiwan. Taiwan cuisine is also heavily influenced by the Sichuan province and uses doubanjiang, a fermented bean and chili sauce utilized for flavoring Fengyuan eggplant. It is predominately used as a vegetarian dish and is mixed with basil, tofu, garlic, soy sauce, and other spices to create a savory, sweet, and spicy dish.
Fengyuan eggplant is native to Taiwan and named after the district it originated in. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia before recorded history. Today Fengyuan eggplant is available at farmers markets, specialty grocers, and home gardens in Asia and the United States.
Recipes that include Fengyuan Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Veggie Belly||Spicy Szechuan Eggplant with Tofu|
|Steamy Kitchen||Stuffed Miso Eggplant|