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Braised Eggplant With Garlic Sauce

Here's a chance to practice your skill with a cleaver. Although you can make this garlicky dish from Sichuan with ground pork, I prefer chopped pork for its more pleasing texture contrast to the creamy eggplant. Still, if you want to use your food processor, by all means do so.

Type: Vegetables
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

4   Asian eggplants - (abt 1 1/4 lbs)
  = (or 1 regular eggplant)
2 teaspoons 10mlSalt
1/4 cup 59mlChicken broth
2 tablespoons 30mlSoy sauce
1 tablespoon 15mlDry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon 15mlBalsamic vinegar
  = (or dark Chinese rice vinegar)
2 teaspoons 10mlSesame oil
2 teaspoons 10mlHoisin sauce
2 teaspoons 10mlCkili paste
2 tablespoons 30mlVegetable oil
1/4 lb 113g / 4ozCoarsely-chopped boneless pork
1 tablespoon 15mlMinced garlic
1 teaspoon 5mlMinced ginger
2   Green onions, including tops - thinly sliced
2 tablespoons 30mlCoarsely-chopped water chestnuts
2 teaspoons 10mlCornstarch - dissolved in
4 teaspoons 20mlWater
  Slivered green onions, including top - for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Peel egg plant and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. Place it in a medium bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss gently to mix. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Drain and rinse the eggplant and squeeze it dry.

Place a wok or wide frying pan over high heat until hot. Add the vegetable oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the pork and cook until browned and crumbly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the eggplant, green onions, and water chestnuts; mix well. Add the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and braise until the eggplant is tender and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens. Garnish with slivered green onions.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Tip: Asian eggplant has a tender skin which does not require peeling. Do so only if you want the color of the dish to be light rather than tinged with purple.

Everybody's Wokking by Martin Yan, (Harlow & Ratner, 1991)


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