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This makes a light main course, and is lower-fat than the deep-fried version you often find in Asian restaurants. A good addition to this dish is to include marinated and baked tofu cubes, adding them together with the sherry and soy sauce.
- 2 small globe eggplants
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable broth or 1⁄2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil or 1⁄4 cup peanut oil, divided
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced scallion (green onions, both white and green parts)
- 4 slices fresh ginger
- red pepper flakes, to taste (optional) or 4 dried red chilies (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry or 1⁄4 cup rice wine
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cut the eggplants into quarters lengthwise, then width wise into 1/2-inch wedges; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, broth, water, and sesame oil; set aside.
- In a large wok over medium heat, heat half of the vegetable or peanut oil and add the garlic, scallions, ginger, and pepper flakes or chilies (if using) and stir-fry for a minute, until aromatic.
- Add the remaining oil and swirl to coat the sides of the wok.
- When the oil is hot again, add the eggplant pieces and stir fry, stirring, until evenly coated with oil, then spread pieces into a single layer in the wok.
- Without stirring, let the eggplant brown for 3 minutes, then turn the pieces and again spread in a single layer to brown other side, about an additional 3 minutes.
- Turn them again and cook another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all pieces are nicely browned.
- Stir in the sherry or rice wine, then the soy sauce (and the marinated/baked tofu cubes, if using).
- Reduce heat if necessary to cook any larger pieces of eggplant, which will absorb the liquid, stir frying until pieces are cooked through.
- Re-stir the cornstarch mixture until combined well, then add it to the wok and bring it to a simmer, stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the eggplant.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with steamed rice.
- For Vegetarian use Vegetable Broth option.