3 large Japanese eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil, for drizzling
10-12 strips low-sodium smoked bacon
2 large sweet, or yellow onions
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon chili hot oil
2 tablespoons ground black pepper, divided
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon lime juice
Black pepper, to taste
Slice the eggplants into ¼-inch thick, lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the ground black pepper. Slightly char eggplants in a large skillet over medium/high heat, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a dry plate. Repeat the process until finished (Do not over cook the eggplants). Set aside.
Cut the onions into ½-inch thick rings, and pop the internal rings out. In a medium bowl, pour the buttermilk in and soak onions until they’re ready to use. In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and chili oil. Brush onions with hot sauce mixture using pastry brush. Wrap each onion ring, (or two for a thicker one) with eggplant, making sure the whole onion is covered, then wrap the bacon over and secure with a skewer.
Brush with the remaining hot sauce mixture. Sprinkle the wrapped onion rings with 1 tablespoon remaining black pepper. Grill until smokey, crispy and golden brown over medium/high heat, about 5-8 minutes, or bake for about 25-30 minutes. Serve with prepared mayonnaise sauce.
To make the sauce, combine all 4 ingredients in a small serving bowl. Adjust the taste, if needed. Enjoy!
Note: The recipe could also be made without the eggplant using the same seasoning and still get the yumminess flavor!
Prep: 30 minutes | Cook: 30-50 minutes | Yield: 3 – 5 servings | Level: Intermediate