Recipe by Steve P.
I have not tried this recipe myself it is submited for an ISO request. This spicy eggplant dish is a little sweet, a tiny bit sour, and highly flavorful. The dish tastes just as good if you omit the meat. Eggplant is such a "meaty" vegetable in texture that it'll still make a very filling meal, when paired with a big bowl of steamed rice.
Top Review by Jostlori
I liked this recipe a lot, even though it wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be like the eggplant dish at Panda Express or Panda Inn. Still, I would definitely make this again. We went totally vegetarian on this one, using tofu instead of meat. It was a great combination and very filling. Served with jasmine rice and sesame ginger baby bok choy. Thanks, Steve! Made for Naked Recipes 2012.
- 4 small Chinese eggplants or 4 small Japanese eggplants, the slender ones, are best
- 1⁄2 lb ground lean pork (optional) or 1⁄2 lb lean ground turkey (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 -3 stalks scallions
- 2 teaspoons chili bean paste
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon vinegar (if you've got a mild vinegar like rice vinegar, use 1 tsp, otherwise 1/2)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch paste (cornstarch mixed with water)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
Directions See How It's Made
- Cut the eggplant into 2" long sections. Halve, then cut into thirds or quarters [sticks approximately 2"x ½"x1/2"].
- Steam the eggplant using any steaming method; I usually place a steaming rack in my wok, add half cup water & turn the heat to high, then place the ingredients on a dish and place the dish on the rack in the wok. Cover and steam. The eggplant will take approximately 15-20 minute to cook.
- When tender [you can easily poke a chopstick, fork, etc. through one of the pieces], remove from heat.
- If the veggies are sitting in a deep pool of liquid, drain, but not too thoroughly. Set aside.
- Mince 3 cloves garlic; finely chop 2-3 stalks scallions. Set aside 1 tbsp chopped scallion for garnishing the final dish.
- Heat 1 tsp cooking oil on medium [if using an electric stove, heat on high].
- Add ½ pound ground pork [skip to step 4 if you’re doing the vegetarian version]. Break up the pork using a metal spatula to help it cook quicker.
- When the meat is no longer pink, add the chopped garlic and scallions. Stir.
- Add 2 tsp chili bean paste, 1 tsp sugar, ½-1 tsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp soy sauce, then stir. Let cook for 1-2 minute If the mixture looks very dry, add ¼ cup water.
- Taste; add more salt if it doesn’t taste salty enough, more chili bean paste if it’s not spicy enough, a pinch more sugar if you find it a tad too salty.
- Stir in the cornstarch paste; cook until the sauce thickens [a minute or two].
- Pour into a shallow bowl and drizzle with sesame oil.
- with the remaining scallions. Serve with plenty of steamed white rice.