|6||Chinese eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)|
|1 tablespoon||Soy sauce|
|¼ cup||Chicken stock|
|5 tablespoons||Peanut or corn oil, or more if needed|
|2 teaspoons||Ginger, fresh; peeled & grated|
|1 tablespoon||Garlic; minced|
|¼ teaspoon||Dried red chile flakes|
|¼ cup||Water chestnut; peeled & chopped (preferably fresh)|
|3||Scallion; trimmed & chopped|
|1½ tablespoon||Red wine vinegar|
|1 tablespoon||Asian sesame oil|
|1 tablespoon||Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish|
Everyone loves this dish, even those who don't particularly like egg plant. The flavor virtually explodes with a lively combination of sweet, spicy, tart and savory followed by the refreshing crunch of fresh water chestnuts. Serve as a side dish or first course for Western menus.
Cut eggplant into ½-inch wide by 2-inch long strips.
Mix together soy sauce, sugar and chicken stock. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wide, flat skillet. When hot, add half of the eggplant. Saute, stirring constantly until seared and wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Cook remaining eggplant, adding more oil if needed. Transfer to plate. Set aside.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the ginger, garlic and chile; cook gently but do not brown. Add water chestnuts and half of the green onions; stir-fry for 5 seconds. Increase heat to high, add reserved soy sauce mixture and the eggplant. Toss quickly over high heat until the sauce is reduced and absorbed into eggplant, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in vinegar and sesame oil. Remove to a serving dish. Top with remaining green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot or cold.
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