Sunday, July 16, 2006

Has Anyone Seen this Eggplant?

This post is a plea for help. I am working on two recipes for my book. One is an eggplant dish created by Miss Vy in Hoi An. The other is a traditional ragu from Dalat. Each recipe calls for ingredients I am having a hard time finding in Los Angeles. Some of you may recognize the ingredients immediately, but I am in the learning process when it comes to the English names of vegetables used in Vietnamese cooking, so please take pity on me.


The first ingredient is a white eggplant. I have uploaded two photos, so that you can see the color, shape, and size. If anyone knows the name of this eggplant, and also where I might find it, I would be so appreciative. (Right now I am experimenting with a more egg-shaped, white and purple eggplant my sister found at Whole Foods.)


Secondly, I need specific beans for the ragu. These beans are grown in Dalat, and I'm sure they are probably common here in the U.S. Does anyone recognize the beans in the photos below? If so, please send along their English names. I promise to keep you on file for a complimentary cookbook in the spring of 2007!

My thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out with these ingredients.


DEe said...

I'm in Singapore, so i don't know whether you can find those beans.. the pink and white ones, i've seen similar ones in the US, but they were called pinto beans and much smaller. here we get them fresh in similarly coloured pods. I love them. I have sadly no clue what they're called. I feel for you.

anni said...

Hi, Kim,

I've been searching through my cookbooks and seed catalogues. I recognized both ingredients immediately.

Based on the first photo, the white eggplant looks like a Thai eggplant, called: Hybrid White Ball or Osterei. I'll send you contact info of a couple of produce vendors I know in LA. In the meantime, check out Asian Produce Markets or farmer's markets with Asian influenced growers. There is one at the El Segundo market on Thursdays by the Civic Center. (At least the last time I was in LA.) Bring a photo, if you go.

The beans look like the familiar "Cranberry bean" or the Italian "Borlotti bean". These are common in US and can easily be found. If I find some here, I'll send you some to work with.

I hope this helps, my friend. I'll follow up soon.

Anni :-)

anni said...

PS The ones your sister found at Whole Foods may be called "Rosa Bianca" eggplants.


Anni :-)

Anonymous said...

Kim and Annie - I grew Rosa Bianca and they are as you described (the ones your sister found), light purple and white but quite a bit larger than the one pictured.

Annie - you are right on the button with the bean and the white eggplant.