Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Chinese eggplants, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, plus more to coat the eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • your favorite hot pepper (if you like it spicy)
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Directions

  • Chop eggplant into bite-sized pieces.
  • Spread the sliced eggplant on a towel.
  • Sprinkle Kosher salt on both surfaces of the sliced eggplant.
  • Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes.
  • Pat each surface dry. Do not rinse the eggplant.
  • Combine light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, spice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl, mix well.
  • Sprinkle eggplant with cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with a thin layer of cornstarch.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat until warm.
  • Spread eggplant across the bottom of the pan so that eggplant pieces do not touch each other. Cook the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant becomes soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining eggplant using the same method. If the pan gets too hot and starts to smoke, lower the heat.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil along with the ginger, garlic, and scallions to the pan. Stir a few times making sure that the garlic does not burn.
  • Add all of the eggplant back into the pan.
  • Mix the sauce again making sure that the cornstarch is fully dissolved and then pour it over the eggplant. Immediately stir a few times, until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens.
  • Turn to lowest heat and taste a piece of eggplant (be careful, it’s very hot).
  •  Adjust seasoning by adding salt, sugar or more spice – and mix well.
  • Serve warm as a side or as a main dish over steamed rice or noodles.

Image: One Green Planet

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