I had the privilege of testing out one of Michael Natkin's (Herbivoracious) recipes. He is working on a cookbook and had sent a request for recipe testers over twitter. I was one of many that volunteered. I told him I was interested in cooking with new ingredients. I haven't done a lot of Asian cooking so this was a good one for me to try. I got most of the Asian ingredients at Uwajimaya in Bellevue. The only thing I couldn't find was an optional ingredient called "long pepper", primarily grown in Indonesia but can be found at some specialty spice stores. It kind of looks like an elongated pine cone. It was my first time cooking with eggplant and tofu. The recipe calls for frying the tofu in oil. Luckily I had a splatter screen. Even though I patted down the tofu to get rid of excess water, it still splattered oil like crazy.
Overall I was happy with the recipe and how it turned out. Since it's a cold salad dish, it would be perfect for potlucks. If you'd like to try the recipe yourself, he has it posted over on his blog. If you'd like to test one of the recipes before his cookbook is published, send him an email and he'll send you a recipe to try out. You could win a cookbook from the Harvard Common Press cookbook catalog for testing a recipe.