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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

Thickener:

  • 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.

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