Szechuan-style eggplant (yuxiang qiezi)

Based on a recipe from Chinese Cookery, by Rose Cheng and Michele Morris

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 ¼ lb) eggplant
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp hot bean sauce
  • ½ tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 3 to 4 green onions, sliced diagonally

Directions

  1. Cut eggplant into 3 inch by ½ inch pieces.
  2. Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in skillet over high heat for 1 minute.
  4. Add eggplant and ¼ cup of water to skillet. Cover and let cook for 5 to 6 minutes until eggplant starts to get soft. Stir occasionally.
    Add more water if eggplant starts to stick to skillet.
  5. Remove eggplant from skillet.
  6. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in the skillet over high heat. Add garlic, ginger, hot bean sauce, hosin sauce, and vinegar. Cook 30 seconds over high heat.
  7. Add soy sauce, sugar, salt, chicken broth, and cornstarch paste. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add eggplant and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until eggplant absorbs most of sauce.
  9. Add sesame oil and green onions. Cook for 1 minute.
  10. Serve over rice.

I have been searching for a spicy eggplant recipe that reminds me of what I ate almost daily (slight exaggeration) in Taiwan. I have been thwarted, but this is probably the closest recipe I have found. It is delicious even if it isn’t the quite the same.

For the ginger, I use ginger paste from a tube though you can mince fresh ginger. Hoisin sauce and rice vinegar are usually available in American grocery stores. I have only found hot bean sauce and dried whole red peppers at international or Asian grocery stores.

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