Today I will share another recipe from my trip to China: Chinese Eggplant. I already told you about my Chinese cooking experience in my previous post on Chinese spring rolls. I really love spring rolls in all shapes and sizes and any type of filling. In fact i almost ate my fingers eating the ones I made during the Rice & Friends Chinese cooking class. But the dish was not something new for me. I had spring rolls many times at home. What was new to me was the Chinese way of making eggplant. This Chinese-style eggplant from the oven quickly became one of my favorite dishes and I had to keep myself from not ordering it every day (there are so many other things to try right, and I was not planning to fly to china every single week so…).
Luckily Luxi – our teacher at Rice & Friends – was kind enough to share the recipe with me. Although we did not make it during class I was happy to have it so I could make it at home whenever I would feel like it. Do ask for this dish whenever you are at a Chinese restaurant, I did so in Amsterdam when I could not find it on the menu and it ended up being one of the best amongst the dishes we picked (or maybe I was just longing for it a lot for a long time).
This is what you need:
- 1 eggplant (180g)
- 3-4 small pickled red chili
- 10 gr ginger
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 shallots
- 50 ml oil for deepfrying and stirfrying
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 flat tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
This is how:
Cut the eggplants into 5 cm. thick slices. Peel and mince the ginger and garlic. Also mince the pickled red chili. Chop the shallots. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set it aside. Mix the cornstarch and water for the thickener.
Heat a flatbottomed wok over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 4 tablespoons oil and half the eggplant. Stirfry for 3 to 4 minutes until the eggplant begins to brown and soften. Remove the eggplant from the wok and put it on a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant.
Leave 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok. Heat the oil and add the pickled red chili when the oil is hot. Stirfry it for 30 seconds. Then add the minced ginger and garlic. Stirfry until aromatic (about 1 minute).
Add the sauce into the wok and bring to a boil over high heat. Put eggplant back to the wok and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until the eggplant is just tender. Add the thickener and stir gently for 15 seconds. Finally stir in shallots and serve immediately.