Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Yes, yet another eggplant post.  This one is also a Grace Young recipe from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen. Since this recipe is very similar to Mrs. Chiang’s Szechuan Cookbook (out of print) recipe, both being Sichuan-style dishes, I decided to modify Young’s recipe a bit with more readily available ingredients. Both uses the chili garlic sauce (yum!) and the flavor between the two are very similar but I think I like this version a little better, probably because of the addition of vinegar. But I’ll take either on any given day. The ground pork can be substituted with ground beef or chicken. I’ve tried it with ground beef and it’s just as yummy.

This post is dedicated to Sandy. Another variant on the eggplant dish for you to try. :-)

Adapted from Grace Young’s “The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen”

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb Asian eggplants
  • 2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoon Black Vinegar (or substitute with 1 tablespoon white vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoon Shao Hsing wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 7 tablespoon vegetable oil (or more)
  • 2 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 2 green scallions, chopped

Directions:

Cut off the stem and ends of the eggplants. Cut the unpeeled eggplants lengthwise in half, then quarters. If the eggplants are thick, you might want to cut the quarters in half again so that each slice is about 1″ thick. Cut each slice to about 3″ lengths.

In a medium bowl, combine chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sugar and water.

Heat wok or large skillet on high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and half the eggplant, stir fry for 2 minutes until some of the eggplant begins to brown and soften. The eggplant will absorb all the oil very quickly. If eggplant starts to stick to wok, add a bit more oil. Transfer the eggplant to a plate. Repeat with remaining eggplant and another 3 tablespoons of oil. Set eggplant aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to wok. Add pork, garlic and ginger, stir fry until the meat has lost most of its pink color (about 2 minutes), break up the meat with spatula. Return eggplant to the wok. Swirl in the chili sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover wok and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Stir occasionally to make sure all the eggplant pieces get equal cooking time. Stir in scallions and serve.

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