Chinese eggplant recipe is a delicious Sichuan’s stir fry dish, a sweet and sour dish with a note of spice in it. This version is vegetarian, usually made with minced pork, although this time, replaced with some fresh spring onions to give it a fresh, and crunchy bite.
The long asian eggplants have a firmer texture and bolder flavour in comparison with the western world “big eggplant”. They don’t lose their shape when cooking, resulting into a firmer bite than normally. Simply add a little cornstarch on them before cooking into the wok in order to make the skin slightly crunchier and the sauce thicker.
This meal comes just like tapas, although main course size, in the middle of the table to share with other dishes. The secret in this recipe lays in the ingredients, which are all Sichuan’s, of course. You’ll probably need to stop at the asian market to find them all. Especially important is the Sichuan’s fermented bean paste (Doubanjiang) which is the highlight of this eggplant dish.
So let’s stir fry that aromatic asian dish!
Portions: 2-4 persons / prep&cooking time: approx. 20 minutes
- 4 long asian eggplants cut into sticks of 3cm
- 1 small onion finely sliced
- 1-2 hot Thai red pepper finely chopped (1 mildly spicy, 2 spicy)
- 3 tbsp of cornstarch (2 tbsp for the eggplants + 1 tbsp for the sauce)
- 2 tbsp of peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 tbsp black bean paste (Doubanjiang)
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 cm cube piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of dark chinese vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- 2 tbsp of honey (or sugar)
- 1 tbsp of chinese cooking wine (or sherry)
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp of chilli flakes paste or in oil
- Cut the eggplant into 3 cm long sticks and add to a plate with salty water and put weight on it for 15 minutes.
- Dry up with a paper towels the eggplants.
- Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, chili paste, and 1 tbsp of cornstarch.
- Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp of peanut oil on the eggplants and mix until well coated.
- In a wok, medium-high heat, cook the onion, ginger, garlic and eggplants for about 5 minutes until the eggplant is light brown on each sides.
- Add the black bean paste (Doubanjiang) and mix
- Add, finally, the predone sauce from step 3 to the wok, cook for a minute.
- Serve with a few finely chopped Thai peppers and spring onions.