Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce is a popular Sichuan dish. In restaurants, the eggplant slices are usually fried making the dish too oily. Today, we are making a healthier version by steaming the eggplant before stir-frying with the rest of the ingredients. Steaming makes the dish less oily and helps the eggplant soak up all the fabulous flavors of the sauce. The key to making sure the tender eggplant slices have a perfect balance of flavors is to mix the ingredients for the sauce first before pouring into the wok. This delicious, spicy, and healthy dish is perfect with hot steaming rice or as a side dish to any of your favorite fried or grilled dishes.
This recipe takes about 20 minutes to make. Serves 3 to 4.
• 3 Chinese eggplant, cut into 2-inch slices
• 4 cups of water
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ cup of water
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 tbsp light soy sauce
• 1 tsp dark vinegar
• 1 tsp cornstarch
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 tbsp spicy bean paste
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp. minced ginger
• 2 scallions, chopped – green and white parts separated
Put water and salt in a large bowl.
Soak the eggplant pieces to prevent them from discoloring and to remove the bitterness as well.
To prepare the sauce, mix together water, sugar, light soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Drain the eggplant pieces and steam them for 8 minutes.
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
Add ginger, garlic, and white part of scallions.
Sauté for 1 minute.
Add spicy bean paste and sauté for another minute.
Turn the heat up to high, then add steamed eggplant.
Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Pour the sauce into the wok, then mix well.
Cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the green part of the scallions, then turn off the heat.
Transfer sautéed eggplant to a serving dish.
Ideas And Tips:
Aside from eggplant, you can use zucchini, chayote, broccoli, squash, cauliflower, green beans, okra, bok choy, mushrooms, sponge gourd, snap peas or long beans.
If you do not want the dish to be spicy, you can substitute the spicy bean paste with a regular soybean paste or miso paste.
To make the dish heartier, you can add minced meat, diced tofu or mushroom slices.
images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Q1uPIJacc