Korean-style Steamed Eggplant and My Individual Medley

How has your summer been? Once school was all over back in June, I thought it was going to be smooth sailing with a relaxing, easy going summer. Boy, was I wrong!

As I was watching the Olympic swimming events a couple of weeks ago late one night, it hit me. I was doing my own version of the individual medley. EVERYDAY. For example:

The figurative horn goes off in the morning and I’m off! Kids jump into bed, I get in the shower, cajole the kids to get downstairs, make coffee, eat my own breakfast while getting the kids’ breakfast ready, convince myself NOT to turn on the television for the kids, and drink more coffee. Doorbell! The sitter takes over. I run upstairs, pull on whatever looks clean, slap on the war paint, gather my bags, say goodbyes, and into the car.

Turn and breathe.

Work starts with reviewing notes from the boss who is a hard worker, but definitely a workaholic. Then it’s nonstop designing, drawing and writing for about 4 hours. I look at the clock, feel like I got nothing done, but it’s time to go home. I feel woozy and realize that I skipped my snack and lunch. Shrug it off, gather my bags, say goodbyes and into the car.

Turn and breathe.

Home again. Kids tackle me and grab each leg, ready to go to <insert activity>. I change my clothes, grab a yogurt, gather the bags and kids, say goodbye to the sitter, and into the car.

Turn and (sort of) breathe.

This is the most challenging part of the day, the last leg of the day – late afternoon to bedtime. Sometimes it’s easier when we have a playdate dinner at the town pool with friends, but usually we come home, tired, exhausted, and cranky. It’s a mad rush to cook dinner and get it on the table. All the while, I am resisting the pull of Nick Jr. for relief. It’s a losing battle when everyone’s at their wit’s end. And so it’s helloooo Dino Dan and Fresh Beats. Dinner, bath, and bedtime. We’re all out of gas, daddy’s working late, and I’m trying to keep it together until I hit that proverbial wall to finish the day.


Throw in a few curveballs and deadlines and it has turned into a triathalon. All I can say is thank goodness for friends and family (IRL and online) because it can get CRAY-ZEE. I know this time with the tots will go by fast, but, man, some days IT’S SO HARD!

Are you with me? Can I get an AMEN?

So. If you’re pressed for time, here’s an eggplant recipe inspired by my (super) mom. Serve it with some steamed brown rice and you’re good to go…until the next morning!

Korean-style Steamed Eggplant

Serves one very hungry person or 3-4 people.

4 medium Japanese eggplants (about 1.5 pounds)
3 green onions, sliced thinly sliced crosswise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon kochugaru (coarse red pepper powder)
pinch of salt

1 – Fill a large pot with about an inch or two of water and insert the steamer basket. Place the eggplants on the steamer basket. Cover.

2 – Turn the heat on high, bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium. Steam the eggplants for about 10 minutes or until tender.

3 – While the eggplants are steaming, mix together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

4 – Once the eggplants are done, carefully take out the eggplants with a pair of tongs and place on a platter.

5 – And once the eggplants are cool enough to touch, quarter each one lengthwise with a sharp knife (because a dull knife will tear them apart!).

6 – Drizzle as much or as little sauce over the eggplant and you’re ready to eat!




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  • Sarah

    Amen! X100 I totally relate. Between work and schedules I feel like the summer has just passes us by. How old are your kids? I have a 2 year old. I know I shouldn’t but sprout network is by best friend when trying to keep my two year old occupied. That’s why I’ve cut down on my posts.

    • kimchi_mom

      You gotta do what you gotta do. I have a 3.5 and an almost 5 year old. Adding work that requires going to an office just makes scheduling a little more challenging!

  • RavieNomNoms

    This looks so unique!! Looks awesome!

    • kimchi_mom

      It’s pretty easy and tasty. I hope you give it a try! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    This looks wonderful! I just made something similar with miso (and sriracha) but skipping that stuff in favor of kochukaru sounds even better!

    • kimchi_mom

      Miso and sriracha sounds like an interesting combination. How was it? Did you heat your sauce? By the way, thanks for stopping by!

  • Ann Mah

    Wow! Reading this post, I felt like I was right there with you in the mad rush of the day. Bon courage — and thanks for a fast and delicious-looking recipe!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Ann! That means a lot coming from you – ms. writer extraordinaire! I’m glad that I was able to convey the craziness in my household. It was actually very cathartic writing this piece!

  • Claudia Mazur

    Would this work with small green Thai eggplants?

    • kimchi_mom

      Hi Claudia – I’ve never had Thai eggplants so I am not familiar with the flavor. It’s worth a try! I imagine it would take much less time to steam through. Let me know how it goes!