Every second I’ve had in the past three days has been spent thinking about this stir-fried eggplant recipe.
I swear I first saw it on Sunday on Chris Morocco’s Instagram (Bon Appetit’s Senior Food Editor). But it also seems to have existed in my memory before that. The glossy royal purple of the eggplant skin, topped with almost-fluorescent green basil leaves, screams at me like déjà vu. I can’t keep my eyes off it.
In fact, I’ve stopped writing every few seconds to stare at the photo. The photo belongs in a museum. I think I might make it my desktop background.
Okay, back to the dish.
It felt like the whole world was making this dish on Sunday. Morocco reposted about three creations before my stomach and brain caved. I wanted in. So, I spent my whole day planning around this recipe.
From buying the freshest eggplant, garlic, and basil from the co-op 25 blocks from my house to getting ground chicken from the Safeway 10 blocks in the opposite direction. I walked 6.3 miles that day. And reader, it was all worth it.
The glorious results of this sweet and spicy combo is exactly the kind of recipe you rearrange your whole day for. Every photo you take of it is meant to be shared repeatedly on your socials until at least one friend asks for the link.
You don’t stop thinking about it until you know someone else got to enjoy it. That’s the true magic of Chris Morocco’s dishes.
So, that’s why I’m urging you. Please. Make this stir-fried eggplant basil dish.
It’s got a kick of spice from the chiles, pops of crunch from the toasted sesame seeds, and can be turned vegetarian by swapping in tofu for chicken or pork. It’s obnoxiously good with rice. It tastes so good, its derailed my week.
Sure, it’s fast and easy. According to the recipe’s directions, it takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to cook up.
But that’s not the reason to cook this dish. The complex mix of salty and sweet, crackle and cream, is.
Besides, it actually took 52 minutes to make this — mostly because I have no knife skills, a pan that’s too small, and no sense of organization. (Please prep before you cook.) And I would do it again. I savored every 3,120 seconds of making this dish, even when flubbed around with the measurements because I didn’t want to wash my only measuring spoons.
It tasted sublime.
And not to get gross on you, but my bowel movement was PERFECT the next morning.
So try this recipe. Make a day out of it for yourself, or with your boo. It’s genuinely the dish I would’ve pestered my eggplant-disliking boyfriend to try. My heart would’ve genuinely broken if he said no.
Lucky for him, he was in Hawaii. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to share.
Christal Yuen is an editor at Greatist, covering all things beauty and wellness. Find her musing about wellness trends on Twitter.