5 Spice Braised Eggplant Casserole With Mushroom & Vegan Beef

April 17, 2018
Like many dishes that I make when I'm only cooking for myself, this one doesn't fall neatly into a certain category. It features macaroni but it's not Italian; It uses five spice but it's not strictly Chinese. It predominately includes eggplant and mushrooms--two ingredients that cross over into many different types of cuisine. While I do not feel the need to ascribe this dish to any particular influence, cultural or otherwise, I will note that it reminds slightly of certain dishes I've eaten in Asia... Ones that are "Western" style yet nontraditional in that they incorporate unusual spices or flavor combinations. I'm imagining casseroles that I've eaten in Japan and noodle dishes that I've had in Hong Kong that embody this fusion in such a distinctive way, it's almost as if they form a subcategory themselves. And I guess that is the nature of "global" cuisine, as areas become homogenized, customs are shared, cooking methods are adapted to suit various tastes and include various external factors. For this reason, I eschew rules regarding what should and shouldn't be paired when cooking. I just follow my gut instinct and cater to my own taste, which sometimes leads me to some pretty interesting creations. This one is a great go-to dish when you're craving something hearty, warming and nutrient-dense. Although it contains mock meat, the mushrooms and eggplant also provide a meaty texture that holds onto flavors quite well. Whip this casserole up the next time you need a warming dish thrown together in a pinch!
5 Spice Global Casserole With Braised Eggplant, Mushroom & Vegan Beef

5 Spice Braised Eggplant Casserole With Mushroom & Vegan Beef

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 4-6 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 (16. oz) pack pasta of choice (I used macaroni)
  • 1 (8 oz.) punnet sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup vegan beef chunks
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or puree
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Directions

1. Combine oil, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, cinnamon and five spice in pot.
2. Add carrot, onion and a cup of water.
3. Mix well and set on the stove over high heat.
4. Once sauce starts to simmer, add eggplant and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
5. Reduce heat, and cover for about 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for your pasta.
7. Remove the lid from the eggplant and give it a stir, adding a bit more water if your sauce has evaporated.
8. Then, add mushrooms, vegan beef chunks and tomato sauce and increase heat slightly while stirring for about a minute.
9. Reduce heat to low and cover.
10. Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
11. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and set aside. Remove the pan containing your veggie and beef sauce from the stove, then thoroughly mix pasta into it.
12. Serve and dig in!

Also by Quincy: Vegan High-Protein Japanese Brown Rice Bowl

Related: Vegan Miso Tofu Noodles

Creamy Vegan Potato Casserole

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Photos: Quincy Malesovas


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Quincy is an NC-based college student who is passionate about leading a healthy and compassionate life. Aside from classes, she fills her time with cooking, writing, travel, and yoga. You can find more from her on her blog Shugurcän and on Instagram.

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