Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

  • images/eggplant_w_garlic_sauce.jpg

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 Asian eggplants, about 1 1/4 pounds

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 pound coarsely chopped pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 green onions (including tops), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped water chestnuts
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water
  • Slivered green onion (including top) for garnish

Directions

  1. Cut eggplant into 1/4-inch thick by 2-inch long batons.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Place a wok or wide frying pan over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add pork and cook until browned and crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add eggplant, green onions and water chestnuts; mix well. Add sauce, reduce heat to medium, cover and braise until eggplant is tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Garnish with slivered green onion.

Note: If Asian eggplants are not available, Globe eggplants may be substituted. Due to the Globe's thicker skin and sometimes bitter taste, it needs special treatment: Peel the eggplant, cut as directed above, then sprinkle eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant to get rid of the salt and squeeze dry; proceed with recipe.