During my 2.5 weeks of independence, I've cooked way more Chinese food than I've ever had in my entire existence :D But, one of my proudest achievements is definitely mastering this eggplant dish! If you love eggplant, you are going to absolutely fall head over heels for this deliciousness. :)
MAIN PART OF DISH
- Eggplant (If it's the big round ones, one will suffice / if it's the long slender ones, roughly around 3 will be a good gauge)
- A few stalks of chives / scallions, chopped up, separating the white & green parts (whatever length you want, the taste is awesome either way lol)
- 4 cloves of garlic (Mince this with your knife)
- 3 slices of ginger, julienned (Actually right, who got so much time lah, just slice the ginger into nice thin pieces then good to go!)
- 3 tablespoons of oil (or yknow, just pour as and when you feel the REAL need to)
- 1 tablespoon of Shao Hsing wine (Relax, it's a cooking wine, and due to the cooking process, there is absolutely zero alcohol taste in this)
Mix this in a small bowl before cooking, to save time
- 1 tablespoon of spicy bean paste (dou ban la jiang)
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Shao Hsing wine
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
WHOT TO DO:
- Wash them eggplants. If you've got the big round type, do soak the purple goodness in saltwater FIRST (roughly 10 minutes should do the trick). This is to soften the skin, and to get rid of "bitterness".
- Cut the ends off, then proceed to slice them into equal-sized pieces. FYI, if your slices turn out ugly, don't worry, whichever way you slice it, it will become the eggplant you love still. So, chill - coz your food guru here actually chopped it into thick non-conforming triangles HAHA.
- Now, with your wok on the stove, turn it on HIGH HEAT. Do not panic, nothing will splatter. Unless you do the unpardonable, which is to have water on the wok. Please, wipe it dry before attempting to cook the eggplant HAHA.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil into the wok. Swirl it around to have it evenly spread as a base.
- When you can see the oil start to bubble, add in half the batch of eggplant. We do this so you will have evenly cooked eggplant, otherwise there'll be too much in one wok.
- Fry the eggplant for roughly 5 minutes, using your spatula to flip them around to check on its doneness. Lower the heat if it cooks too fast. It should look brown, seared, but NOT black or burnt please. Also, during the time period, if you find that your eggplant does not seem to be evenly absorbed with the oil, do not hesitate to add more oil.
- Remove the batch 1 of eggplant and set aside.
- Repeat the above steps with batch 2 of eggplants. Set aside when done.
- Now, in the same wok, pour in 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add in ginger, garlic - on MEDIUM HIGH. After 1 minute, turn the heat back on HIGH. If you happen to have minced meat on hand, adding it in now is absolutely perfect - personal preferences apply.
- Using all the eggplant, add it back into the wok, with the combined sauce, along with the white part of the chives/scallion, as well as that last tablespoon of Shao Hsing wine.
- Stir-fry for 2 minutes, ensuring that everything is well-mixed.
- Put the green chives/scallions into the mix, stir-fry for another 30 seconds, and you are DONE!
BEST EATEN WITH HOT STEAMED RICE! :)
Cherlyn Aurora xoxo