Eggplant Steaks, Restaurant Style
A couple months ago we had an absolutely delightful and completely unique meal at Roy Choi’s restaurant, Best Friend, at Park MGM on The Las Vegas Strip.
“Best Friend is… Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS. Hip hop-to-bibimbop. Kimchi-to-spaghetti. BBQ and late-night food. I want Best Friend to energize the minds of people looking to experience the best in life. Whether they are from Hollywood or Hong Kong, D.C. or Down Under, I hope all guests are licking their fingers with their mouths full saying ‘holy sh!t’ as they reach across the table for another bite. LA food in Las Vegas. Los Vegas. Best Friend. Forever.” – Roy Choi
Blown away by the KALBI Korean BBQ marinated bone-in short rib; SLIPPERY SHRIMP crispy rock shrimp, chili mayo, walnuts; ELOTES kewpie mayo, lime juice, tajín, cotija, cilantro; and EGGPLANT SCHNITZEL.
The eggplant was simple yet elevated with its silky interior and crunchy exterior. The sauce was intriguing, creamy, and mustardy. Fresh peppery green arugula provided the perfect balance to the fried eggplant. Brilliant.
In his endearing, personal, and somewhat irreverent cookbook L.A. Son, Chef Choi writes, “I make a mean schnitzel.” Yep, he sure does.
Eggplant Steaks Recipe
Best Friend menu reads:
dijon, soy, mirin
With my memory of the taste of the dish and those 5 words printed on the menu, here is my interpretation:
- globe eggplant
- salt and pepper
- panko breadcrumbs
- olive/avocado oil blend
Slice eggplant into planks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip planks in flour, shake off excess. Dip in beaten egg, then coat with panko. Fry in oil over medium heat, flipping once, until the breadcrumbs are crispy brown and the eggplant is cooked through. The eggplant must be cooked thoroughly to achieve the silky interior texture. Transfer to paper towels.
Savory Dijon Sauce
- 14 oz. firm tofu
- 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 c. filtered water
- 3 T. dijon mustard
- 2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 T. high-quality mirin (read about mirin here)
- 2 T. white miso paste
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt if necessary.
This sauce recipe can be halved. Or make the full recipe and try it on other veggies too.
- savory dijon sauce
- eggplant steaks
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper
Spread Savory Dijon Sauce on plates. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Place Eggplant Steak in the center. Toss arugula with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Mound arugula on top of eggplant. Season the entire plate with fresh ground pepper. Serve extra lemon on the side. A single edible flower in a contrasting color makes the presentation pop. This dish pairs extremely well with Rosé.
And When The Lights Come Back
On The Strip,
We’ll Be Back To Support
Our Best Friend!
This shot of The Las Vegas Strip at Night was taken in January from Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. It was about a mile hike up from the Shadow Canyon Access Trailhead. #VegasStrong