There is a wonderful restaurant in Woburn, MA called Lanna Thai Diner; everyone should go there. When they serve curry with Chinese eggplant, the eggplant is soft and well-cooked, but still bright purple on the outside.
I can get the right kind of eggplant (Russo's in Watertown, MA -- another place everyone should go), but when I cook it, the skin turns an unappetizing brown.
I've tried stir-frying it hot. I've tried steaming it first. I asked the guy at Lanna Thai, but he told me it was a secret recipe; not sure if he was teasing or not, but I still don't have an answer.
I have a variety of things still to try: Salt? Lemon juice? Blanching in water with baking soda?
But I'm hoping some wise soul on these boards already knows the answer!
Thanks for any suggestions.