Eggplant szechuan style

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
6 Chinese eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sugar
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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