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Eggplant Tacos
茄子嫌いも食べる茄子タコス

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There aren’t many foods I don’t like.

But I do respect other’s food preference, and I try not to push others (except for my own kids if we had any) to eat the food they don’t like.

If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, and pushing them to eat it doesn’t help.

The difficult thing about this is that if I like something I want my loved ones to enjoy it with me.

So when Terry doesn’t like the food that I LOVE, I tend to try a little harder.

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Terry doesn’t like eggplant very much, whereas, I LOVE eggplant.

I used to cut eggplant into small pieces and sneak them into his favorite dish, but I stopped doing that because I don’t want him to not trust me.

Now I tell him everything, what’s in the food he is eating.

When I found this smaller eggplant, I thought this might work because it had a slightly firmer texture compared to the regular one and it had less and smaller seeds.

I also cooked the eggplant twice (sauteed first, marinate, and then cooked again with additional seasonings), hoping to add extra layers of flavors.

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Well, Terry ate, and he liked them.

Yay!

The overall taco flavors helped, I’m sure.

And he was hungry, which I suspect was a big factor.

But still, it was a happy moment for me!

Eggplant Tacos

canola oil
1~2 cups Yaki-Bitashi eggplant, chopped
cumin
salt and pepper
2 corn tortillas
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
4~6 jalapeno slices from jar
cilantro
lime wedges

1. Sautee chopped Yaki-Bitashi eggplant in oil. Sprinkle cumin. Mix. Taste. Salt and pepper if needed.
2. Place the sauteed eggplant, onion, tomato, jalapeno slices, and cilantro on warm tortillas.
3. Serve with lime wedges.

I’m on Instagram.

Holy Land
TVで観たから行ってきた。

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One of my favorite Food Network shows, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, has been featuring many restaurants in the Twin Cities lately, which is super exciting, and I recently saw this in one of their episodes.

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Holy Land.

It’s a deli/grocery/restaurant place that specializes in Arabic, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern foods, located in the Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood.

We’ve been here before, but at that time we just visited the grocery store and we didn’t eat.

So when I saw Mr. Fieri giving a huge compliment on their hummus, I couldn’t wait to go check out the restaurant.

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We had an appetizer plate.

On the place came hummus, baba ghanoush “ghannuj”, falafel, and stuffed grape leaves.

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It came with a basket of pita bread.

Everything on the plate was absolutely delicious!!

Loved the hummus, but the baba ghanoush was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

It has a wonderfully strong roasted flavor and it really sets theirs apart from other restaurants. It’s not overly garlicky, either, which I often do not care for.

The stuffed grape leaves were very tasty, too.

The first time I ever tried stuffed grape leaves were from cans, and they were terrible.

It’s a shame to sell those poor quality canned foods.

Their falafel was great, too.

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Since we didn’t know the plate would come with bread, we also ordered a spinach pie.

Well, we were glad we did.

Although it was a lot of food (we took almost all the pita bread home), we loved everything we ordered.

The spinach pie was packed with a lot of spinach, and served with cheese and cucumber sauce.

Very very flavorful!!

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They also had some great looking meat rotisserie.

I like restaurants that have an open kitchen.

I could watch them work in the kitchen like this all day long!

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They have a bakery section right next to the dining area, and I was looking forward to check it out after our lunch.

All the baked goods looked fresh and smelled great.

The ingredients looked pretty good.

When I say good, they are simple and I know what they are.

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Seriously, where in the U.S. can you get Iraqi Tandori Bread?!

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These sweets looked great too, and I was so tempted to get something.

Well, next time for sure!

This is the kind of place I wish we had in our neighborhood so that I could walk to get fresh quality tabbouleh or falafel for lunch, snack, or dinner, or Iraqi Tandoori bread!

But it’s close enough, so I’m sure we will go back very soon.

Yaki-Bitashi Eggplant Noodle Salad
焼き浸し茄子麺

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Eggplant enhances its flavor when cooked with oil.

There is a Japanese cooking technique called “age-bitashi” which means “deep-fry and then marinade”.

For this dish instead of deep-frying, I sauteed my eggplant.

This was sauteed (yaki) and then marinated (bitashi), so I call this Yaki-Bitashi.

You can get a similar result because eggplant absorbs a lot of oil even from the sauteeing process.

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After being marinated overnight.

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The beautiful eggplant was simply served with the clear noodle, tomato slices, and cilantro.

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Yaki-Bitashi Eggplant Noodle Salad

canola oil
1 eggplant, sliced
salt and pepper
marinade
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 1/4 vinegar
– 1/3 sugar
1 tomato, sliced
100g cooked clear noodle
cilantro

1. Sautee eggplant in oil. Salt and pepper
2. Made marinade. Mix all the ingredients. Add eggplant to the marinade. Marinate overnight.
3. Place the eggplant, tomato slices, and cooked clear noodle in a bowl. Serve with some of the marinade and cilantro.

I’m on Instagram.

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