Chinese Eggplant is a great ingredient in asian cooking, and because it’s eggplant, it makes a great stand-in for meat. In this Chinese eggplant recipe, I use a sauce similar to one I use making General Tso’s Chicken, so it’s a rich and filling Chinese eggplant dish, hearty and vegetarian at the same time.
1½ lbs CHINESE EGGPLANT
4-6 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
3 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1-2 RED CHILIES (thinly sliced)
½ cup whole CASHEW NUTS
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS
1 Tbsp SESAME OIL
1/3 cup SOY SAUCE
2 Tbsp HOISIN SAUCE
1 tsp SESAME OIL
2 Tbsp RICE VINEGAR
2-3 Tbsp BROWN SUGAR
1 Tbsp GINGER (minced)
2 Tbsp CORN STARCH
1½ cups WATER
In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients. The fresh minced ginger is optional, but if you love ginger, why not? I also use 2 heaping Tbsp of brown sugar, but you can use more or less sugar depending on how much sweet you like–but the sweet is good with this recipe. Mix the sauce ingredients well and then set aside.
Cut your Chinese eggplant. You should buy firm eggplant with glossy, unblemished skins. Cut into pieces approx. 2″ long and ½” wide.
In a skillet or wok, heat olive oil on med. high heat. When the oil is hot, add eggplant. Saute eggplant 5-7 minutes. The eggplant will soak up the oil, so add more oil as needed or desired. Saute until the eggplant colors and begins to soften and then remove eggplant from the skillet. In the same hot skillet, add sesame oil and heat. Add garlic, hot pepper, and cashew nuts (or sub peanuts). Saute for 1 minute or until garlic colors. Add sauce and green onion bottoms. Stir sauce slowly. Because of the added corn starch, the sauce will quickly heat through, darken, and thicken. When the sauce has thicken to a a gravy/syrup consistency, return the eggplant to the skillet. Mix well, then cover the skillet and allow to simmer until the eggplant has finished cooking, 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the egglant pieces. Stir in green onion tops. Fresh chopped cilantro also adds an excellent taste and garnish. And that’s it.
Serve with rice, or without rice…and enjoy.
And try this General Tso’s Chicken recipe.