This was super fun to make as it was my 1st time to tackle a “saucy” Chinese dish. I looked at 8 different recipes and finally settled on Food Network’s Szechuan Eggplant, but as always, tailored to my taste buds. I served this with coconut brown rice and steamed choy sum.
*use organic when possible
- 5 Asian eggplants, about 2 lbs ~ washed, stem removed, cut into large chunks
- 3 tbsp peanut oil (I skipped this)
- 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 green onions, white and green parts ~ washed and thinly sliced diagonally
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (I forgot it!)
- 3 garlic cloves ~ minced (I used a handful!)
- 1 fresh red chile, sliced (I skipped this because my guests were not “hot-blooded”)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (I used veggie broth)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (I used kuzu root instead)
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Thai holy basil and fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
INGREDIENTS I ADDED:
- 1-2 large organic carrots ~ washed, thinly sliced
- 1 large organic yellow onion ~ peeled, washed, cut into thick strips
- 1 pack bunashimeji mushrooms ~ rinsed, ends removed, & separated into pieces
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high flame and add the oils; tilt the pan to coat all sides. When you see a slight smoke, add a layer of eggplant, stir-fry until seared and sticky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggplant to a side platter and cook the mushrooms and remaining eggplant in same manner, adding more oil, if needed.
- After all the eggplant is out of the pan, add the yellow onion, carrots, green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile; stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the broth. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the wok and cook another minute, until the sauce has thickened. Put the eggplant back in the pan, tossing quickly, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with sesame seeds, Thai basil, and cilantro and serve.