Eggplant Szechuan-style Recipe
Year of the Rooster ! A most Happy and Prosperous and Fortunate New Year to all my Chinese friends! Many years ago - too many - I got a recipe from Chef Rose Cheng that set the basis for this dish. I have always come to this dish for a mid-winter spark.
I love eggplant - in all it's manifestations. This dish is one of my absolute favorites and one I do get requests for from close friends. Since I've been cooking (mostly Cantonese) Chinese dishes since I was 14, and enjoying all forms of Chinese cooking, I do have the necessary equipment and keep the condiments on hand. I like to say that I have "3 woks and 4 cleavers parked in my kitchen".
But do not be deterred: if you like a spicy, surprisingly complex flavor profile, and are looking for a relatively simple venture into a new area of cooking, this is a great recipe to try. Virtually every condiment is available on most grocery store shelves these days, as opposed to when, in my youth, I had to travel to Chicago's Chinatown to shop ...
Follow this recipe. The photos accompanying are for a larger quantity than this recipe calls for, but I did want to show you, step-by-step, the process. If you have questions about any of the condiments, just message me - you know I'll get back to you!
TIP: Gather all your ingredients before you begin. Chinese cooking is quick and requires high heat and focused motion. You do not want to be running to the pantry or the refrigerator once you get the oil hot.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbs chopped green onion (scallions, Spring onions)
- 1/4 C + 2 Tbs of oil (peanut preferred, or canola - eggplant will also brown without any oil, if you are oil-conscious)
- 1 tsp cornstach
- 1/4 C water
- 1 Tbs hot bean sauce (not Sriracha or sambal oelek - I use 1 tsp of Chinese-style hot chili oil + 2 tsp of Black Bean Sauce)
- 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce (not plum sauce)
- 2 tsp rice vinegar (or white vinegar - I also like to use a good Chinese cooking wine, Shaosing Rice Cooking Wine)
- 2 Tbs soy sauce (TIP: when I prepare for G-F diners, I use Organic Tamari, wheat free soy sauce)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 C chicken stock (or broth)
- 1-1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Measure out all the bottled ingredients in groups as follows.
- Peel the eggplant and cut the eggplant into 3" x 1/2" pieces
- Mix the cornstarch with cold water
- Heat the oil in a wok over high heat for 1 minute
- Stir fry the eggplant pieces for 6 minutes to acquire a bit of browning
- Using a slotted spoon (or spider) remove the eggplant to a bowl: this should leave about 1 Tbs of oil in the bottom of the wok
- Add the garlic, ginger, hot bean sauce, hoisin sauce and vinegar to the wok, cooking for about 30 seconds
- Add the soy sauce, sugar, salt, chicken broth and cornstarch and water to help deglaze the wok and begin to thicken the cornstarch
- Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring
- Add the eggplant back into the wok and combine with the sauce for about 1 minute
- Add the sesame oil and combine well
- Move to a serving dish and garnish with the green onion
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|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 133g|
|Recipe makes 6 servings|
|Calories from Fat 253||91%|
|Total Fat 28.66g||36%|
|Saturated Fat 2.23g||9%|
|Trans Fat 0.7g|
|Total Carbs 5.6g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 2.3g||8%|